The BJP faced a shocking defeat in all the three Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Though Raman Singh, who has been a chief minister since 2003, was a strong contender owing to his fight against red terror and development politics, there was a strong anti-incumbency factor working against his government for which his government paid the price. Backing Ajit Jogi to cut into the Congress votes backfired too.
According to final results, the Congress won a clear majority by winning 68 seats out of 90. The BJP came in second with 15 seats. There has been a huge shift in Adivasi votes in favour of the Congress. And not just tribals, Dalits and Backward Castes too voted heavily against the Raman Singh government. They have accused Raman Singh of neglecting them and favouring upper-caste and non-Chhattisgarhi people.
During these elections, a significant trend emerged in Chhattisgarh which saw women voters drifting away from the BJP. It has emerged that none of the BJP candidates could win from 23 constituencies where female voters were higher than the male. For the uninitiated, the Congress has promised to ban liquor in its election manifesto.
The highest turnout of female voters was witnessed from Kharsia constituency where IAS officer OP Choudhary contested from the BJP ticket. Kharsiya has been a Congress bastion in the Raigarh district.
Former Raipur district collector OP Choudhary had recently joined the BJP, days after resigning from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
He tweeted a photo of him with BJP president Amit Shah and Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh with this caption:
“I have assumed the membership of the BJP. I am very satisfied with my tenure in the IAS. But bureaucracy has its own limitations. I want to work more for my people and my soil that is why I decided to leave the service.”
He was from the 2005 batch and was allotted his home state as his cadre. He belonged to Patel’s Aghariya community, a dominant OBC community in Raigarh.
However, it seemed to be a sort of double whammy for Choudhary as not only he lost the seat but also gave away his plum post of district collector.
Choudhary was known to bring a change in education in Chhattisgarh’ Maoist-affected Dantewada district.