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Published On: Tue, Dec 11th, 2018

Chhattisgarh : Bhupesh Baghel In the race for Chief Ministership

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36 grahRAIPUR : The Congress forming the next government in Chhattisgarh became a mere formality on Tuesday as Chief Minister Raman Singh of the BJP resigned, after his party’s disappointing performance in the State Assembly polls.
“Chhattisgarh has given a thumping majority to the Congress, ending the three-term rule of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Dr Raman Singh. Although pollsters had predicted a tight contest, it eventually turned out to be one-sided, with the BJP losing a significant percentage (8%+) of its votes in the state. The ‘Third Front’, led by Ajit Jogi’s Chhattisgarh Janata Congress (JCC) with ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which was tipped to eat into the Congress vote share, seems to have damaged the prospects of the BJP more than the Congress.
“The people of Chhattisgarh have given a chance to the BJP for the past 15 years, I am thankful for that. We did what we thought was best for the state. The moral responsibility of this loss should be accepted by me… we are going to play an important and new role of Opposition and serve the people of Chhattisgarh in Opposition. I will continue working for the rest of my life,” Incumbent CM Raman Singh said while addressing media. Singh has said that he has tendered his resignation to the Governor.

“We are going to analyse with everyone about the loss… The elections are fought in state on the basis of issues of the state, general elections will be fought in 2019,” Singh added when asked about Congress’ claim that this is a result of double anti-incumbency, both at the Center as well as the state.

Meanwhile, Mr. Raman Singh refused to pass the buck on the BJP’s national leadership over the setback after 15 years of the party’s rule in the state.“The election was solely contested on State agenda and it is not related to Delhi. We will sit with the party workers and analyse the defeat in detail.”

“This will not reflect on the Lok Sabha election scheduled in 2019. The issues for the Lok Sabha are different and election will be contested on those issues,” he said. “It is time to work in a new role for Chhattisgarh. We will work with full vigour,” Mr. Raman Singh said.

With the Congress poised to wrest power from the BJP in Chhattisgarh after 15 years, the party’s State unit chief Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday said people have given a befitting reply to the ruling party, which indulged in corruption during its 15 year of rule. He credited strong party organisation for the impressive showing and said he was not expecting such a big margin of victory.
“Congress had been standing with each and every section of the State. Therefore, it has received their immense support in the election,” Mr. Baghel told PTI.

Thirteen women have been elected to the Chhattisgarh Assembly in 2018, a rise from the 10 and 11 women who became MLAs after the 2013 and 2008 polls respectively, a State election official said on Tuesday. Of the 13 women who have been elected in the 2018 polls, the Congress leads with nine women MLAs while the BJP has one. This figure was six for the BJP and four for the Congress in the 2013 polls, the official said. Renu Jogi, wife of former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, who was with Congress in 2013, has also won her Assembly seat this time from the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J). The remaining two women legislators are from local outfits, the official said.

In the race for Chief Ministership:
Even as the counting is underway, trends over the course of the day have indicated a comfortable Congress lead. Here are the chief minister probables if the party wins in the state:

Bhupesh-Baghel-KorbaBhupesh Baghel: Baghel is the Congress state chief and has been leading the Congress campaign from the front. He is a four-time MLA from Patan, and is leading from the constituency. Baghel has had stints as cabinet minister during the Digvijay Singh government in Madhya Pradesh and then the Ajit Jogi government in Chhattisgarh. He was, however, remanded judicial custody in September this year after the CBI found connection between him circulation of a “fake” sex CD.

Tamrahdwaj Sahu: Sahu is the lone Member of Parliament from the state, and was brought into the assembly battlefield after alleged differences between Baghel and Congress’ state in-charge PL Punia. Sahu is the head of the party’s OBC cell, and exerts considerable influence over the Sahu vote bank. Known to be a reluctant man, Sahu might be in advantage due to his closeness to Rahul Gandhi and untainted image.
TS Singh Deo:  Deo is one of the richest candidates, and is a descendant from an erstwhile royal family. He is the sitting legislator from Ambikapur constituency. Deo has registered his name as ‘TS Baba’ during this elections since two other candidates in fray from his constituency share his name. Deo had said that the chief minister would be chosen after the poll results in a ‘swayamvar’. (With Agency Inputs ).





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