The state of Chhattisgarh has been lately in the news, surprising every pollster since Congress has achieved a resounding victory in the 67 seats.
The exit polls conducted by eminent news channels were in fact, divided on Chhattisgarh. Some of them showed a smooth BJP victory, some of them showed a Congress victory while others predicted a nail-biting contest. Since its inception, Chhattisgarh has experience dundulating fights between the oppositions.
Butit is for the first time in its history a three-way fight was recorded in Chhattisgarh with Ajit Jogi’s Janata Chhattisgarh Congress and the Mayawati-alliance exercising their strength against both national parties. Jogi contested on 55 and Mayawati on 35 seats.
The Jogi factor spiced up the contest since he is a stalwart Congress leader from the tribal community, and the first and only CM from Congress in the state. He bid adieu the Congress in June 2016 and formed the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh.
Since Jogi had been associated with the central party for many years, political experts and analysts felt that his rigorous campaigning might damage the Congress and it would be a cinch for the BJP this time. However, this simplified assumption was already on the cards.
Jogi and Mayawati undoubtedly cherish the support of the members from the SC/ST community which account for about 44 percent of the population. Jogi also enjoyed continued support from the members of the Satnami community in the state. While BJP had won 9 of the 10 SC seats in2013, INC had won 18 out of 29 ST seats in 2013. So, from the start, it was already perceived that he would damage the vote share of both.
Jogi was claimed to make inroads into both BJP and Congress vote banks. When Jogi formed his party, Congress imposed an allegation on him citing that he had created a supporting wing for BJP.
Following the rout of Congress in Chhattisgarh where they have gained 67 seats, the BJP was reduced to a mere 17,and the Jogi-Mayawati alliance sealed 7 seats.
From the very beginning, Congress was leading significantly, and they were on the verge of claiming stakes to form the next government in the state.
According to a report by the Election Commission of India, BJP’s vote share has declined by 9 percent simultaneously with Mayawati gaining 6 percent vote share apparently at the expense of BJP. On the contrary, Congress has increased 1.4 per cent vote share, and Jogi’s dream of playing the kingmaker experienced a severe hit.
BJP, which won the majority of SC seats in 2008 and 2013, suffered a rattling defeat in these elections. Even a total of 39 SC and ST seats which remained with BJP in the past elections were lost this time.
Due to the Jogi impact, ST seats were assumed to be added to the BJP tally, but they stayed with the Congress. Those seats improved the Congress tally by 4 years.