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Congress storms to power in Chhattisgarh

Till about 9 pm in the night, the Election Commision officials told ET that they had got results just for 25 seats only and Congress had won 23 of them.

ET Bureau|
Dec 11, 2018, 11.21 PM IST
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Though the formal results announcement by state election commission are expected late in the night, the trends show that Congress is leading on 67 assembly seats, BJP on 15 and former chief minister Ajit Jogi-led alliance on 8.
In one of the biggest upset in the five states which went to polls ahead of 2019, the Congress swept assembly polls returning to power in Chhattisgarh after fifteen years beating hands down longest serving BJP government of chief minister Raman Singh.

Though the formal results announcement by state election commission are expected late in the night, the trends show that Congress is leading on 67 assembly seats, BJP on 15 and former chief minister Ajit Jogi-led alliance on 8. This indicates that Congress would manage to form government on its own and not rely on third player -- the coaltion between Jogi and BSP as was projected in the run up to the polls for the tribal dominated polls.

Till about 9 pm in the night, the Election Commision officials told ET that they had got results just for 25 seats only and Congress had won 23 of them. The verdict reflects people's mood for change as but for two -- Brij Mohan Agarwal from Raipur (South) and Ajay Chandrakar from Kurud -- all other state ministers have lost in the polls.

Shailesh Pandey, who joined Congress six months back despite opposition from local party leaders, turned out to be giant killer for he defeated veteran BJP minister Amar Agarwal to represent Bilaspur constituency in the 90-member Chhattisgsarh assembly.

The results are a deviation from the past with the victory margin between BJP and Congress getting reduced to merely .75 percent in the last assembly polls of 2013. The outcome in that election was BJP managed 49 constituencies and Congress 39. However, in 2008 polls 50 MLAs of BJP had won while 37 of Congresss could pass the muster.

Like elsewhere in the state, the Congress has improved its performance even in the Naxal dominated region of Bastar which accounts for 12 assembly segments. While it had pocketed 8 in 2013, this time if the trend converts into result the Congress should get 11 of them. It may be recalled that Naxal had given a call to boycot elections and warned people not to support ruling BJP in the democratic process.

In the triangular contest, Ajit Jogi won his tradition seat of Marwahi after his son Amit left it to the father. His wife Renu managed to retain her Kota seat while their daughter-in-law Richa Jogi, who was contesting on BSP symbol, lost the poll from Akaltara with a thin margin. Jogi's confidante Dharamjit Singh too won from Lormi constiutuency while another party candidate Pramod Kumar Sharma was leading in Baloda Bazar.

BSP candidates -- Kesab Prasad Chandra was leading from Jaijaipur and so was Indu Banjare from Pamgarh, as per the trends available before going to publication.

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