One of the major upsets in this election cycle came from Chhattisgarh assembly polls. Congress has made the majority by a wide margin, painting the state green. It gained 33 whole seats from BJP, retained 29 seats and has made a total of 63 seats. BJP, on the other hand, has only been able to retain 12 seats and gained a mere 6 from the competition, they have made 18 seats in all. The third front has won 9 seats.
So what gives?
Exit polls before election counting started had both major parties head to head and there was no clear winner. There were talks about Congress pulling a last-minute upset and maybe forming a coalition government as they did in Karnataka, as the numbers came in, it did, in fact, seem like it was going to be a hard-fought race. When counting reached the halfway mark, however, Congress took a comfortable lead, kept it up and caused a proper upset. They have a huge margin in their name, and it looks like their anti-incumbency strategy has paid off big time.
Among the few upsets that Congress might have hoped for is to topple three-time CM Raman Singh. With Karuna Shukla riding the Congress ticket, the former BJP party member took an early lead in the Rajnandgaon constituency. Raman made a comeback and regained lead over his former party member, but it was a close call. Many other fellow party members and colleagues of Singh, however, were not so lucky.
Former chief minister Ajit Jogi, who served as the state's first-ever CM, contested with a JCC party ticket (he is also the leader of the party), formed the third front against BJP and Congress. "We are satisfied with the number of seats we have won so far," said Jogi.
"We won what we did after campaigning for only two months. We are glad we were able to change the two-party system in Chhattisgarh. People wanted a change in Chhattisgarh and wanted to remove the BJP. They saw the Congress as being able to do this."
For the first time, Chhattisgarh is seeing a three-pronged fight for seats in the elections. So far, it has always been Congress against the BJP, reports the Times of India. Former Congress member Ajit Jogi's Janata Congress Chhattisgarh has formed an alliance with Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party and the CPI, they all together formed the third front for the election.
Another upset for the BJP as is reported by First Post is that farmers, tribals and OBC voters seem to be moving away from the orange party. The farming community's relationship with the current administration has been steadily growing sour, especially over the last few months leading up to the election. Across Bastar, Kanker, and Rajnandgaon districts, inadequate MSP on paddy and non-payment of assured crop insurance are some of the reasons why people started voting the BJP out.