The verdict for 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh will be out today with the counting set to begin at 8 AM. The political fate of 166 candidates will be decided today. In Chhattisgarh, the contest is between BJP and the Congress.
The state recorded a 66.04% turnout in first phase, 70.31 % turnout in second phase and 70.73% in third phase. Voting was held at 23,727 polling booths, of which 5,625 were in critical areas. The state has total 15,758 service voters. Barring an improvised explosive device (IED) blast triggered by Naxals during second phase in Rajnandgaon constituency, the polling in the state was largely peaceful.
The parliamentary constituencies in Chhattisgarh are - Bastar, Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund, Kanker, Surguja, Raigarh, Janjgir-Champa, Korba, Bilaspur, Durg and Raipur. In 2014, the BJP had won 10 out of 11 seats in Chhattisgarh and one seat was won by Congress.
The outcome of Rajnandgoan seat will be keenly watched by both the Congress and BJP. In 2014, the seat was won by former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh's son Abhishek Singh but BJP did not give ticket to Abhishek this time. RSS man Santosh Pandey is BJP candidate from this seat and he is pitted against Bholaram Sahu of Congress. In Bastar, Congress' young leader Dipak Baij is pitted against senior BJP leader Baiduram Kashyap. It is interesting to note that BJP has never lost from this seat since 1998.
Exit polls predictions for Chhattisgarh
According to India Today-Axis My India exit poll, BJP may win seven to eight seats, while the Congress is expected to get three to four seats in the state. ABP-Nielsen's exit poll predicted that BJP would win six seats and Congress five. News18-IPSOS exit poll has predicted 7-9 seats for BJP in Chhattisgarh and 2-4 seats for Congress. Some exit polls have projected close contest between the Congress and the BJP with CVoter giving 6 seats to the NDA and Jan Ki Baat 5-6 seats.
Voting for seven-phase Lok Sabha election started on April 11 and ended on May 19. Counting for all 542 seats (the polling for Vellore was countermanded by Election Commission due to use of money power) is set to take place on Thursday. The outcome of this general election 2019 will choose the 17th Lok Sabha and pave way for the formation of next government.