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How Ajit Jogi saved BJP from further embarrassment in Chhattisgarh polls

The Congress bagged 68 seats to dethrone the BJP which had ruled Chhattisgarh for the last 15 years

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 

Ajit Jogi
(File photo) Ajit Jogi (Photo: PTI)

failed to ensure the victory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as most political pundits had predicted, but his new political party, the (JCC), did save the ruling party some more embarrassment.

Having faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of Congress, the BJP would have been confined to a single digit had Jogi's (JCC) not been in the fray.

The ruling party bagged just 15 seats; about half of it in Jogi’s bastion.

Of the five divisions in Chhattisgarh, Bilaspur was the one where the BJP managed to give some fight to Congress that swept the Chhattisgarh poll by bagging 68 seats. In Bastar, the BJP got only 1 seat, while in Sarguja, the ruling party could not even open the account.

In Sarguja, which also happens to be the turf of opposition leader T S Singhdeo, all the 14 seats went to the Congress. This is the only region where BJP was wiped out.

The ruling BJP had also banked on the with the simple calculation that the group split from Congress would eat into its vote. The real tussle was in Bilaspur where Jogi has a strong presence. Of the 24 seats in the region, most were locked in a triangular contest with the BJP feeling an upper hand over the split vote.

ALSO READ: Chhattisgarh poll result: Congress ends BJP's 15-year rule; wins 68 seats

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Jogi, however, did not disappoint. The region offered seven seats to the BJP; about half of its total vote tally. The BJP could manage to win the seven seats only in the triangular contest with Jogi’s party playing the spoilsport. Even Jogi managed to get three seats in the region.

Jogi who had an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI), got about 11 per cent votes to get seven seats.

T S Singh Deo, who defeated BJP's Anurag Singh Deo by 39,624 votes, was a key for the Congress in toppling the 15-years rule of Raman Singh. Heading the Congress party’s manifesto committee, Deo coined the theme of 36 points that included waiving off farm loan, cutting power tariff to half for farmers and increasing the minimum support price (MSP) on paddy to Rs 2,500 per quintal. The farmer’s issue clicked in a big way and resulted in such a victory so grand that even Congress leaders had not expected.

Interestingly, Congress' vote share increased only marginally from 42 per cent to 43 per cent but the party managed to gain 29 seats since the last election when it bagged 39 seats.

The resentment of the cadre and people hurt BJP so much so that its vote share dropped nine per cent to 33, resulting in the loss of 34 seats as compared to the last election.

First Published: Wed, December 12 2018. 21:46 IST
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