Raipur: The Congress, which has been out of power in Chhattisgarh since December 2003, is struggling hard to keep the morale of its workers high after losing the Bastar Lok Sabha seat to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in last week`s by-poll.
"We lost the battle for Bastar comprehensively despite a rare show of unity displayed by various factions of the Congress. The loss has further eroded the morale of party workers in the state where we have been suffering one humiliating defeat after another since December 2003," a senior Congress leader told a news agency, preferring not to be named.
The BJP has been ruling the state since December 2003 assembly elections.
Congress nominee Kawasi Lakhma lost the Maoist-affected seat -- reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, to the BJP`s Dinesh Kashyap by over 88,900 votes. The seat went to polls May 8 amid wide disruptions by Maoists in forested areas. The result was declared May 13.