Home / Politics / Policy /  Election results: BJP cements majority in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won its fight for the Chhattisgarh assembly a third time, after earlier going neck-and-neck with the main opposition Congress.

Chief minister Raman Singh won from Rajnandgaon constituency, as the BJP won on 48 seats while the Congress pocketed 40 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won one seat in the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly.

Singh on Sunday thanked the people of Chhattisgarh for BJP’s hat-trick in the state, and said they had once again shown faith in the development works of his government.

“It is a historic day and I express my gratitude to the people of the state for showing faith in development done by the BJP," Singh told reporters in Raipur, as the party completed a hat-trick of wins after a closely contested battle with Congress. “People have voted us to power for the third time and it is a victory of the people the state," he said.

The state’s opposition Congress party seemed to have succeeded in taking advantage of the sympathy created after the killing of its leaders in a 25 May Maoist attack in Darbha valley, in which 27 people were killed, as well as the desire for change among the people, especially the tribal youth. But perhaps, it wasn’t enough.

The presence of a third front comprising the Left parties, the Chhattisgarh Swabhiman Manch, the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (CMM) and the National People’s Party (NPP), which has been highlighting the lack of jobs in the state, seems to have played a spoiler against the BJP government.

The ruling party tried to encash the popularity of chief minister Raman Singh and his popular schemes, but there was resentment against the sitting legislators of the BJP. Besides the youth, especially in the tribal-dominated Bastar, which is also hit by Maoist insurgency, was disappointed with lack of job opportunities.

A highly subsidized rice scheme has earned Singh the title of chawul-wale baba among tribals. To extremely poor households, the state provides 35kg of foodgrain every month at 1 per kg and at 2 for the other poor families, 2kg iodized salt for free per month, and pulses at subsidized rates for those in tribal areas. The scheme covers 4.2 million families.

Although the Congress lost most of its top leaders in the deadly attack, and infighting had been a roadblock in the initial days of campaigning for putting up a united face, the aspirations of the youth and the anti-incumbency factor seem to have helped the party to get an edge over the BJP.

The party had succeeded in making a fair-ticket distribution, which had brought in some kind of unity among its leaders. Mint on 14 November reported on the desire for change among the youth in Chhattisgarh.

PTI contributed to this story.

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