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    Chhattisgarh polls: BJP leaders concede defeat

    Synopsis

    The BJP leaders have privately conceded that they have lost the Chhattisgarh electoral battle after being in power for three consecutive terms.

    Indiatimes
    Prior to the polls, the BJP's internal survey had positioned it as the single largest party but the situation slipped after first phase of polling.
    Raipur: With early trends indicating that Congress is comfortably leading, the BJP leaders have privately conceded that they have lost the Chhattisgarh electoral battle after being in power for three consecutive terms.

    Till one pm the counting for 90-seat assembly, Congreess was leading on 65 seats, BJP 17 and Jogi-led alliance 6 and others 2. This indicated that Congress is on way to form government with comfortable two third majority. Chief Election Officer of Chhattisgarh Subrat Sahoo told ET that a clear picture of who is winning and who is losing would emerge around 3 pm and the results would be declared in the evening.

    At least two state BJP leaders ET spoke to accepted that the party is losing the elections "badly". BJP sources said after the first of the two-phase polling on November 12 covering 18 constituencies in the Naxal affected belt of Bastar region, the party had realised that they have committed a 'mistake" by not reaching out to farmers in its manifesto. On the contrary, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had promised people to write off farmers loan and increase minimum support price for paddy, the senior BJP leader stated citing one of the reasons for the bad performance.

    Internally within the party, there was a view at least to change the course and reach out to people with promise of sop to farmers in the second phase of poling for 72 seats, sources pointed out. But, the party went ahead with its declared manifesto which now appears to the BJP was way off from what electorates wanted to allow chief minister Raman Singh fourth stint in government.

    Prior to the polls, the BJP's internal survey had positioned it as the single largest party but the situation slipped after first phase of polling, anoter party leader acknowledged. However, a detailed autopsy of the assembly election would be done after the results are out.

    While Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked Congress of supporting urban-Naxal and other promises offered in the poll document failed to lock aspirations of the tribal dominated state.

    Another preliminary assessment, as per senior state leader, of the trend is that former chief minster Ajit Jogi led alliance damaged more BJP than the Congress, which is contrary to the perception made out by the saffron brigade.

    The BJP office in Rajabandha Maidan wore a deserted look at 11 am in the morning while the Congress workers were already in celebratory mood at its Rajiv Bhavan.

    In 2013 assembly polls, BJP had won 49 seats while Congress managed 39 but the victory margin which has been squeezing with every passing elections, was merely 0.75 percentage.
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