Incumbency bears fruit in Chhattisgarh Assembly Election 2018

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Kartik Mehindru

With a historic landslide victory, Congress is going to form the next government in Chhattisgarh. After much speculation about the election results of the five states – Madhya Pradesh, Telengana, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Rajasthan, the shift of politics is evident with Congress getting massive victories in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Until now, the 2019 election- which was a mere cake walk for the Bharatiya Janata party now seems to be a long way to go.

Congress is leading with 68 seats in Chhattisgarh, while BJP got 16. The JCC, BSP and CPI coalition managed only 6 seats. Chief Minister Raman Singh, who has the record of 15 years of incumbency is leading in the Rajnandagaon constituency.  

The election was held in 2 phases. Phase 1 included 18 seats. Among them the most important are Rajnandagaon, Narainpur, Bijapur, Antagarh, Bastar, Jagdalpur and Dongargarh. These are the Maoist affected areas. These constituencies belong to the ST category. During the 2013 elections BJP lost 12 of these 18 seats. 2018 saw the same pattern leaving Rajnandagaon where Chief Minister Raman Singh is leading and Dhantewada where BJP candidate Bhima Mandavi is leading. Congress is also leading in most of the SC regions, which were the BJP hub till 2013 election.

The phase 2 of the election had 72 constituencies, among them 9 are SC and 17 are ST constituencies . Gariaband, Dhantari, Mahasamund, Jashpur, Balrampur are the naxal-hit areas.

The Congress did well in all the urban areas while BJP won the rural areas in 2013 but this time Congress sweeped it clean. The campaign of  ‘New India’ did not do too well for the BJP government. Though Amit Shah praised CM Raman Singh for pulling Chhattisgarh out from the category of ‘Bimaru’ state but the poll promises were not enough. BJP promised to books and uniforms for free to students upto class 12 and free bicycles till class 9. they also promised amount of upto 2 lakh to women who wants to start their business venture.

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi’s smart campaign helped Congress to have an upper hand in the state. He went there 16 times. The Congress leader promised to waive off farmer’s loan within 10 days of coming to power. They also promised a liquor ban and 35 kg of rice to every family for Rs. 1.

The most interesting part in this election was the coalition between Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) , BSP and CPI. Amit Jogi, his wife Renu Jogi and his daughter-in-law Richa Jogi – all stood with JCC cards. It was thought earlier that the coalition will stand in the way of Congress and it will help BJP to keep its hold on Chhattisgarh but the end results proved to be different.

CM Raman Singh has given his resignation. The potential candidates for the post of CM are Bhupesh Bhagel, TS Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu from Congress.