In 2018, Congress made history as the party scored a massive victory in Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections, bagging 68 seats in the 90-member House.
It was for the first time party’s leader Bhupesh Bhagel emerged victorious after suffering three successive setbacks.
For the BJP it was a huge setback as its stalwart Raman Singh, who had led the party for 15 years in the state lost the elections to Congress in the state.
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Earlier, in 2013 Assembly elections, the BJP had won 49 seats, the Congress 39, while one seat each was bagged by the BSP and an Independent candidate.
BJP’s Raman Singh’s held the fort for the party for three successive times. He made BJP win in the state since 2003.
Raman Singh’s Era:
BJP won 2003 Assembly elections were won under the leadership of Raman Singh and he was sworn in as new CM.
In the 2008 polls, Singh’s scheme of free distribution of rice helped him. Also, though Vidya Charan Shukla had returned to Congress (after briefly joining the BJP as well), in the 2008 polls, Ajit Jogi’s camp within Congress allegedly managed to defeat many of his opponent Congress leaders, and BJP retained its tally of 50 seats.
While statehood for Chhattisgarh had generated hope of all-round development, what also saw a rise in the state was Naxalism.
On May 25, 2013, a few months before state polls, Maoists ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Bastar district. Twenty-seven people were killed, including state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudaliyar. Vidya Charan was injured and died later.
The BJP won the subsequent polls with 49 seats, and the Congress secured 39. In the meantime, Raman Singh established his son in politics, who won the Lok Sabha poll in 2014 from Rajnandgaon.
By the 2018 Assembly polls, the tide was turning against Raman Singh. He had been discredited among BJP workers for advancing his family, had many enemies within the state and central BJP leadership, and was also facing anti-incumbency after a 15-year run.
Return of Congress, arrival of Bhupesh Baghel
After losing three consecutive Assembly polls and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Congress was now preparing well. After Mahendra Karma was killed, the party first appointed Charan Das Mahant as the state chief, and then, within a few months, the OBC leader Bhupesh Baghel was appointed in his place.
Baghel was sworn in as the Chief Minister on December 17, 2018. His promises for farm-loan waiver and best prices for crops to farmers worked in his favour.
It is now time again for results of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections in 2023.