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Analysis Chhattisgarh

Outlook-Lokniti-CSDS Election Analysis: How Congress Managed To Win Over OBCs In Chhattisgarh

The nitty-gritty of Congress Chhattisgarh sweep

Outlook-Lokniti-CSDS Election Analysis: How Congress Managed To Win Over OBCs In Chhattisgarh
Photograph by Getty Images
Outlook-Lokniti-CSDS Election Analysis: How Congress Managed To Win Over OBCs In Chhattisgarh
outlookindia.com
2018-12-14T11:07:49+05:30

Out of the three states in the Hindi heartland that went to the polls, it was in Chhattisgarh that the Congress scored its most decisive and convincing victory ousting the Raman Singh-led BJP government after 15 long years. Unlike neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress only just about managed to dislodge the three-term BJP government from power, the verdict in favour of the Congress in Chhattisgarh was unambiguous.

The party secured a three-fourths majority winning 68 of the 90 seats on offer. The BJP, which got just 0.7 per cent more votes than the Congress in 2013, trailed this time by 10 percentage points. The Congress ended up securing 43 per cent votes and the BJP 33 per cent. What is rem­arkable is that the Congress was able to achieve this unexpected win despite the perception that its state leadership was weak, and despite the fact that the party was facing a stiff challenge not just from a firmly ent­renched BJP but from someone who once used to be part of it: ­ex-chief minister Ajit Jogi. Jogi’s new party, Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC[J]) had entered into an alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and was expected to damage the Congress more than the BJP by attracting a chunk of the Dalit and adivasi voters of the Congress. However, the damage to the Congress in this triangular fight was limited. If anything, the JCC-BSP alli­ance, which secured 11.5 per cent votes seems to have ended up hurting the BJP far more.

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