Congress president Rahul Gandhi (File photo)
Congress president Rahul Gandhi (File photo)

Congress makes impressive comeback in Chhattisgarh

ANI | Updated: Dec 12, 2018 10:27 IST

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], Dec 12 (ANI): The Congress made an impressive comeback in Chhattisgarh by winning 68 seats in the 90 seat Assembly. BJP finished second with 15 followed by JCC 5 and BSP 2.
The Congress party that never got to govern the state ever since it was bifurcated from Madhya Pradesh in 2000, had its last Chief Minister as Ajit Jogi who was in office for a little over than three years. Though a prominent face in Chhattisgarh Congress politics, Jogi slowly became unpopular in the party and was seen more close to the BJP in the state than to Congress. He recently broke away from Congress and floated his own party - Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC) - and managed to get four seats in its maiden contest.
The Congress had in the 2008 Assembly polls made inroads in the Left Wing Extremism affected belt of Bastar, winning 8 out of 12 seats here in 2013. This time the party managed to gather all the 12 seats here.
In Rajnandgaon, outgoing Chief Minister Raman Singh was in close contest with Congress candidate Karuna Shukla whom he managed to beat. Raman Singh was hoping for a fourth successive term this year. However, following the debacle, Raman Singh promptly submitted his resignation to the Governor. Later, while addressing the media, Raman Singh said: "If in 2013 I was given credit for the victory, now in 2018 I take the moral blame for the party's defeat."
"BJP has an ideology. We will fight against it and defeat them. We have defeated them today and we will do this again in 2019. But we don't want to erase anyone from the face of India," Congress President Rahul Gandhi said after the party's victory.
Congress leaders Bhupesh Bhagel, T.S. Singh Deo, Charan Das Mahant and Tamradhwaj Sahu are the top contenders for the CMs post. Mahant was the state party president in 2008 and current chairman of the election campaign committee of Chhattisgarh. Sahu is considered to be close to Rahul Gandhi. Singh Deo, represents the erstwhile royal family and is a respected name in Chhattisgarh politics while Baghel has come up as a prominent leader after the Congress lost its top leaders during a Maoist attack in 2013. Among the four, Baghel is seen as the front runner for the CM's post.
However, Bhagel and Congress in-charge of Chhattisgarh P.L. Punia said that the CM candidate will be picked after proper consultations. Reacting to the big victory for Congress in the state, Bhagel said that Congress has managed to make a mark despite "conspiracy" and abuse of "state power" by the BJP.
TS Singh Deo said that such a big victory leads to bigger expectations and the party will have to work hard to meet them. "Such a huge mandate indicates that people have a lot of expectations from Congress. The victory that we have got will bind us with the public. Our party will definitely face challenges and work for the development of the public," Deo said. (ANI)