Raman Singh, the incumbent Chief minister of Chhattisgarh, will not be enjoying the fourth term, as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faced a trounce in the 90-member Assembly elections on Tuesday. Singh resigned taking moral responsibility for the BJP's stunning defeat.
At the time of writing, Congress was leading in 69 out of 90 seats while the ruling BJP was leading on18 seats and others, which include independent candidates, had managed to register a win on eight seats.
The Congress seems to have played really well in the state to know the pulse of voters which yielded them this result. And, of course, the well-researched party manifesto, poll promises made to farmers and tribals helped the Congress to defeat the BJP which ruled the tribal state of Chhattisgarh for 15 years.
According to senior political commentator Ashok Tomar, there was strong anti-incumbency against the Raman Singh government which helped the Congress make gains.
“There were many factors in these elections that helped the Congress. For instance, people were looking for a change, so they chose Congress because there were no other good alternatives. The residents were not hopeful about Ajti Jogi and his alliance with Mayawati. Also, the state has a large chunk of farmers who seem to have voted for the Congress on the promise of loan waiver and minimum support price (MSP),” Tomar says.
Senior journalist Pandit Vaibhav Bemetirha says that, besides everything, poorly researched speeches by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a toll on BJP in areas like Bastar which had 12 seats.
“There was no need to say anything on ‘urban Naxals’ and leaders of Congress who were killed in a Naxal attack. The party (Congress) had lost its entire state leadership in one attack and people of the area have sympathies with them. Such things, if avoided, could have got them a couple of seats,” he adds.
Things started becoming very clear when an unexpected crowd started turning in rallies of Congress, he says, adding the most surprising turnout of audience was seen in the Jagdalpur rally of Rahul Gandhi and his roadshow for Karuna Shukla in Rajnandgaon.
Results as per ECI at 5 pm
Ajit Jogi’s Dream Shattered
Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and president of Janata Congress Chhattisgarh, Ajit Jogi, who was very optimistic about becoming the kingmaker in case of a hung Assembly, was left shattered with the results.
It is to be noted that Jogi came in alliance with other different parties like Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and others.
Ajit Jogi splitting with the Congress helped Congress to win the elections, says Vaibhav.
“The state saw a lot of anarchy, Jungle Raj under the chief ministership of Jogi and he forming his own party helped Congress get rid of the tag of being a ‘goonda’ party in the state,” he says, adding that this time booth-level management of Congress was the best so far with leaders like T S Singh Deo executing the plan made by the party.
The senior journalist further maintained that this result also shows that good turnout not always helps the BJP to gain power. “This time, the voters came in very large numbers to vote and the voting turnout was very good which did not help BJP but the voters, as it looks like, were sure of ousting the saffron party from the state,” he says.
Also, the people of the state were fed up of some officials who worked according to their own wish and problems of common man were not paid heed. Not just the common man but the BJP cadre was also unhappy with some of the bureaucracy, and it could also be one of the causes for Congress emerging as the single largest party in the state, says Vaibhav.
While talking to the media, Leader of Opposition and Congress’s Ambikapur candidate TS Singh Deo, who comes from a royal family, says that it is the sole responsibility of every winning candidate to fulfill the poll promises made during the campaign.