RAIPUR: The fate of 166 candidates in fray from 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh will be declared on Thursday, May 23. The counting will begin at 8 AM across the state and as per the Supreme Court's order, the Election Commission will tally the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with five EVMs per assembly segment.
Voting in Chhattisgarh took place in three phases. In Chhattisgarh, the contest is between BJP and Congress. All eyes will be on Rajnandgoan seat, which was won by former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh's son Abhishek Singh in 2014. The BJP has not given the ticket to Abhishek this time and instead the saffron party has decided to field RSS man Santosh Pandey against Bholaram Sahu of Congress. In Bastar, Dipak Baij of Congress is pitted against senior BJP leader Baiduram Kashyap. Bastar is the bastion of BJP as the party has been winning from this seat since 1998.
According to ABP-Nielsen's exit poll, the 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. India Today-Axis My India exit poll has predicted that BJP may win seven to eight seats, while the Congress is expected to get three to four seats in the state. 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.