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BJP wrests back Chhattisgarh tribal areas from Cong

Last updated on: December 03, 2023 22:17 IST

The two tribal dominated divisions of Surguja and Bastar having 26 assembly seats that contributed hugely to the Congress' landslide victory in Chhattisgarh in 2018 have swung to the Bharatiya Janata Party this time.

IMAGE: A view of the Chhattisgarh Congress office in Raipur during the counting of votes on December 3, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

In the 2018 polls, the Congress had won all 14 seats, including nine reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, in Surguja division.


Bastar division has 12 seats, of which 11 are reserved for STs. The Congress had won 11 of these 12 seats in the 2018 polls, with the BJP managing to win only in Dantewada.

The Congress had ended up with a tally of 68 in the 90-member assembly in 2018, ending the 15-year rule of the BJP, which could win just 15 seats.

In the 2023 polls, results of which were announced on Sunday, the BJP has won all 14 seats in Surguja division, including Ambikarpur where Congress deputy chief minister T S Singh Deo lost to BJP's Rajesh Agrawal.

The Congress' senior tribal leader and minister Amarjeet Bhagat lost Sitapur seat by a margin of 17,160 against BJP's Ram Kumar Toppa, a former Central Reserve Police Force personnel, while BJP MP Gomti Sai defeated the Congress' Rampukar Singh by 255 votes in Pathalgaon.

The Congress, which had denied ticket to its sitting MLAs from Pratappur, Samri, Ramanuganj and Manendragarh, has lost all four.

In Bastar division, the Congress has been able to win just four seats, while the BJP has emerged victorious on six seats and is leading on two.

In the three bypolls that took place in Bastar division, the Congress managed to wrest Dantewada from the BJP and was able to retain Chiktrakot and Bhanupratappur.

Then Congress MLA from Chitrakot Deepak Baij had quit as an MLA after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bastar in 2019.

Bhanupratappur seat had fallen vacant last year after the death of MLA and deputy speaker of state assembly Manoj Mandavi. Congress' had fielded Mandavi's wife Savitri Mandavi Verma who won the bypoll.

In the 2023 polls, the BJP won Antagarh, Kanker, Keshkal, Kondagaon, Jagdalpur, Chitrakot, Dantewada and Narayanpur.

Baij, the Chhattisgarh Congress chief, lost in Chitrakot by 8,370 votes to BJP's Vinayak Goyal, while Congress minister Mohan Markam suffered defeat in Kondagaon. He lost to BJP's Lata Usendi by a margin of 18,572 votes.

The four candidates of Congress who have won from this region are minister Kawasi Lakhma (Konta) and sitting MLAs Vikram Mandavi (Bijapur), Lakheshwar Baghel (Bastar) and Savitri Mandavi (Bhanupratappur).

Incidentally, the Congress had denied tickets to its sitting MLAs from Antagarh, Kanker, Dantewada, Chitrakot and Jagdalpur in the region. The party has lost four of these seats and is trailing on the fifth.

Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh were held in two phases on November 7 and 17.

As per information made available by the EC, the BJP has won 54 seats, while the Congress won 35.

The Gondvana Gantantra Party has won one seat.

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