Raipur: In just six months, Congress went from astronomical highs to pitiable lows in the state of Chhattisgarh while the Bharatiya Janata Party bounced back in the state which had snubbed it in the recent assembly election.
It has been a political rollercoaster ride for both Congress and the BJP in these last six months between the assembly election and Lok Sabha election. While Congress had managed to upstage three-time CM Raman Singh and win 68 seats in the 90-seat legislative assembly, it failed miserably to recreate the same magic in the Lok Sabha election. BJP came out on top - and by a fair margin - in the most recent election and claimed wins in nine of the eleven parliamentary constituencies. Even more spectacular is that the saffron party dominated in 66 assembly segments in a state that has only recently sided with Congress.
Among the parliamentary constituencies which powered BJP's stunning triumph here were Durg and Sarguja. While Vijay Baghel of BJP won by a margin of nearly four lakh votes in Durg, the party's Renuka Singh Saruta defeated Congress' Khel Sai Singh - winner by 1.53 lakh votes in the assembly election - by 1.62 lakh votes. The story was quite similar in most assembly constituencies which went the saffron way once again.
Chhattisgarh has been a power base for BJP since 2003 when Raman Singh first came to power. He would enjoy two more terms before being ousted in the 2018 state election. This, perhaps, prompted BJP to adopt a different strategy to ensure favour in the Lok Sabha election. The party replaced each of its 10 sitting MPs in the state despite some opposition from state leaders who would eventually agree with the views of the central leadership. This move paid rich dividends as voters eventually appeared to have risen above local issues - significant in the state election - and gone with the national mood in favour of BJP.