Chhattisgarh, which voted in two phases to elect a new government in the state, will know who will win the three-way battle in the state with the result being announced today.
The Chhattisgarh Assembly has 90 members. The two phases of polling or voting in Chhattisgarh happened on November 12 and November 20. The first phase, where 18 constituencies went to vote, saw a voter turnout of 76.35 per cent. The second phase, where the remaining 72 constituencies went to vote, saw a voter turnout of 76.34 per cent.
There was an average overall turnout of 76.35 per cent in the state. BJP’s Raman Singh, who has been in power in the state for three successive terms, is looking for a historic fourth term as chief minister based on his “good governance” model in the state. Chhattisgarh is fighting a three-way battle between the ruling BJP, the Congress and the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati-led alliance.
The Congress has fielded former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla against BJP’s Raman Singh in his home turf. While Raman Singh is the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP, Ajit Jogi is the chief ministerial candidate for the BSP-JCC alliance. The Congress has not named its chief ministerial candidate. Counting of votes began at 8 am, and the result should be known by early evening.
The ruling BJP lagged behind the Congress as votes were counted in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday. Three-term Chief Minister Raman Singh of the BJP was trailing in his constituency. As the Congress widened the gap with the BJP in Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh was locked in a tough fight in Rajnandgaon seat, where his rival is Congress’s Karuna Shukla, the niece of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Raman Singh is the longest-serving chief minister of the BJP, three years more than Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure as Gujarat chief minister and two years more than Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s years in power in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.
In 2013, Raman Singh won from the same seat by a margin of 36,000 votes.
The alliance of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and former chief minister Ajit Jogi’s Janata appeared to make little impact on the Congress’s votes.
Mayawati’s move to tie-up with Ajit Jogi — a Congress rebel — was widely predicted to hurt the Congress more than the BJP.
Several exit polls had predicted a neck-and-neck fight between the big two and some projected victory for the Rahul Gandhi-led party.
The BJP is seeking a fourth straight term in office; the Congress is aiming to return after 15 years out of power in the largely tribal state.
In the 2013 elections, the BJP won 49 seats, the Congress 39, while one seat each was bagged by the BSP and an Independent.