The ‘chawal wale baba’ has spun magic again in Chhattisgarh as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appears all set to form the government for the third consecutive time.
Pollsters had indicated a close contest, but the BJP was silently confident to get past the magic figure of 45 in an assembly of 90 seats, notwithstanding a resurgent Congress.
However, the victory is not as convincing as the BJP would have wanted it to be given the nationwide anger against the Congress – amply reflected in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
But that doesn’t take away from the BJP the credit it deserves given that the party has been in power for 10 years in the state.
Of all things that clicked for the BJP, the foremost is the immense personal popularity of Dr Raman Singh. The doctor turned politician is known for his down to earth image and no nonsense approach to governance.
What has also endeared him to the masses is the popularity of schemes like cheap food grains, cycles for school going girls etc.
Also, the state has acted a magnet for investments during his rule with the state having consistently clocked high GDP growth rates.
However, the continued spectre of Naxal violence, especially the Darbha attack, had hurt the party’s track record on law and order front. And it has directly translated into poor performance in the Bastar region.
Region wise, the BJP has done well in the central plains with victories in all three Raipur urban constituencies, Bilaspur, Bhilai, Vaishali Nagar, Kawardha, Bemetara, Rajim and others. Dr Raman Singh has also won comfortably from Rajnandgaon seat in the region. The biggest upset in the urban centres has been state minister Hemchand Yadav’s defeat in Durg.
Also Read: Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections: Full Results
The Congress has put up an impressive show in northern part of the state. Former chief minister Ajit Jogi’s wife Dr Renu Jogi and son Amit have romped home from Kota and Marwahi respectively. The party has also won in Ambikapur, Premnagar and Ramanujganj.
In BJP’s tally has gone down in Bastar region with the Congress winning Dantewada, Konta, Keshkal among others. The BJP has managed to hold onto Jagdalpur, Narayanpur, Antagarh, Bijapur.
Overall, the results indicate that the BJP has managed to retain its hold on urban voters but has lost ground to the Congress in rural and tribal areas.
The Congress failed to put up a united front in the state with Ajit Jogi having been, reportedly, on the verge of walking out of the party in protest for being sidelined by the state leadership under Charan Das Mahant.
Also, the huge anti-incumbency against the UPA government at the Centre also seems to have hurt Congress’ chances in the state.
On the other hand, the BJP presented a united face despite some internal bickering between some powerful ministers and the chief minister. What also seems to have helped the party the carpet bombing by Narendra Modi. The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate campaigned all across the state turning the scales in the party favour in party’s favour.
Call it Narendra Modi wave or negative voting against the Congress, the BJP is the winner and that is what all that matters.