The Chhattisgarh Verdict 2018 has given a massive majority to the Congress as anti-incumbency emerged as a strong factor against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Congress came back to power after 15 years, a period that saw the BJP win three successive assembly polls and Raman Singh stay Chief Minister for three terms.
The state was expected to witness a keen contest with the Congress challenging the Raman Singh-government over the implementation of development and welfare programmes. Several exit polls gave a clear edge to the Congress.
Unlike in Rajasthan, the Congress was well clear of the majority mark with the lead positions and trends just a few hours into the counting process. By evening, the leads and results were giving the Congress a two-thirds majority. The party was at 66 seats, with only 17 going the BJP’s way. The state has 90 assembly seats.
As the results came in, Singh spoke to the media and accepted responsibility for the defeat.
Chhattisgarh Verdict 2018
The state went to polls in two phases. The first phase of the state assembly polls held on 12 November saw voting for 18 seats in eight Naxal-affected districts. Elections were held to 72 seats in the second phase held on 20 November.
Raman Singh had been the state Chief Minister since 7 December 2003. In the 2013 assembly polls, the BJP won 49 seats while the Congress got 39. Independents and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won one seat each.
An interesting feature of the Chhattisgarh Verdict 2018 was that an alliance between former Congress leader and Chief Minister Ajit Jogi and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) seemed to end up making more of a dent in the BJP vote-bank rather than impact the Congress.
Jogi, who was expelled from the Congress, had formed the Janta Chhattisgarh Congress (Jogi) in 2016.