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BJP ousts Congress in Chhattisgarh, Baghel resigns

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 03, 2023 23:25 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday wrested power from Congress in Chhattisgarh, winning 54 of the 90 seats in the state assembly, while the grand old party got 35 seats, a far cry from the 68 it bagged in the last elections.

IMAGE: Union Health Minister and Chhattisgarh election in-charge Mansukh Mandaviya, BJP leaders Nitin Nabin, Om Prakash Mathur show victory signs as they arrive at party headquarters, in Raipur on Sunday. Photograph: ANI Photo

The Gondvana Gantantra Party won a seat, a poll official said.

Reeling under the shock defeat, Bhupesh Baghel resigned as Chhattisgarh chief minister.


"I respect the mandate of the people. Congress will play a positive role in the opposition," Baghel told reporters outside Raj Bhavan after submitting his resignation to Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan.

Baghel said the reasons for the Congress' defeat in the elections will be known after analysis.

"The BJP has got the mandate of the people and I congratulate them," he added.

Baghel retained his Patan assembly seat, defeating BJP's Vijay Baghel by 19,723 votes.

Chhattisgarh's outgoing deputy Chief Minister T S Singh Deo lost from Ambikapur constituency to BJP's Rajesh Agrawal by a margin of 8,367 votes.

In the 2018 elections, Deo had won this seat defeating BJP's Anurag Singh Deo by a margin of 39,624 votes.

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 BJP this time.

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

IMAGE: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel hands over his resignation to Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan following the defeat of the Congress in state polls, on Sunday. Photograph: ANI Photo

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.

It has won from Ambikapur, Manendragarh, Baikunthpur, Premnagar, Pratappur, Ramanuganj, Samri, Lundra, Sitapur, Jashpur, Kunkuri, Bhatgaon, Bharatput-Sonhat and Pathalgaon segments.

The promises made by the BJP, which it promoted as Modi ki Guarantee 2023', seemed to have worked in its favour in the tribal-dominated state, where it is poised to win a thumping majority.

In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress had registered a landslide victory largely because of a strong anti-incumbency against the then BJP dispensation and the grand old party's promise of freebies and welfare measures.

The BJP this time made populist promises in its manifesto, titled Modi ki Guarantee 2023' for Chhattisgarh. They included procurement of 21 quintals of paddy per acre at Rs 3,100 per quintal, and annual financial assistance of Rs 12,000 to married women under the Mahtari Vandan Yojana'.

Expressing gratitude to the 'janta janardhan' for choosing the BJP in Chhattisgarh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the results 'indicate that the people of India are firmly with politics of good governance and development'.

Union minister Amit Shah said, "Tribal, poor, farmer sisters and brothers of Chhattisgarh have expressed faith in PM Modi and blessed BJP with a huge majority."

Ahead of the state assembly elections, held in two phases on November 7 and 17, the Congress party was a divided house in Chhattisgarh but it tried to gloss over the differences by elevating state minister T S Singh Deo, the main challenger to CM Bhupesh Baghel, as the Deputy Chief Minister in June this year.

The BJP, on the other hand, went into the elections without a clear candidate for the CM's post.

In the 2018 elections, Congress had ended BJP's 15-year run to come to power, and Bhupesh Baghel became the CM.

In the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly, the Congress has 71 members, BJP 13, JCC (J) 3 and BSP 2 while one seat is lying vacant.

Counting of votes in elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly started at 8 am on Sunday, with security personnel maintaining a strict vigil in counting centres in the state's 33 districts, including those affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), a poll official said.

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