Democracy smiles in sad ChhattisgarhNovember 12, 2018
One of the Naxal affected states-Chhattisgarh saw its first phase poll and 70% of people came to vote to show their strong faith in Democracy process. The huge voter turnout is itself is a crystal clear message to rebellion groups- Naxal-Moist ultras.
As per available data so far, the highest turnout of 72% was recorded in Khuiji constituency while the lowest was 49% in Dantewada. The voting percentage in other areas were- Kondagaon 61.47%, Keshkal 63.51%, Kanker 62%, Bastar 58%, Khairagarh 70.14% and Dongargarh and Dongargaon received 71% each.
Eyes were on epicentres of red-corridor- Bastar and Dantewada where the voting was moderate. Meanwhile, Ultras tried to spoil the voting process and attack forces in which at least six Maoists were reportedly killed in two in Bijapur and Sukma districts.
But the good thing is people denied to rebel groups that threatened them for not to participate in the voting process. The Maoist concern is decades long and unfortunate part is that tribe and marginalized people suffer most due to violence in the region.
Like always all mainstream parties claim of development but the matter of fact is that the state is still being count in poor regions in the country. However, government reports suggest that the state stands at 5th position in terms of GDP with 10.17. And the GDP size of the state went 2.91 Lakh crore in 2017-18 from 1.58 lakh crore from 2011-12.
First time in 18 years history of the state, the poll contest is triangular. State’s first Chief Minister and Congress rebellion leader Ajit Jogi came up with his own party Janta Chhattisgarh Congress (JCC) which was formed in 2016.
Here’s is a prospectus of all three rivals in the Assembly elections-
Dr Raman Singh, who has been CM of the state since last 14 years in 3 terms, is claiming for his 4th inning. Despite, Chhattisgarh is an underdeveloped Maoist issue is unresolved, Singh is the undisputed tallest leader in the state. Good track record of BJP in the state favours the saffron party. Out of 11, 10 MPs are from BJP which is a great boost to the ruling party. Raman Singh tried to keep his popularity intact with some big campaigns like- Lok Suraj Abhiyan, Gram Suraj Abhiyan and Vikas Yatras. Except for the first poll in 2000 when the BJP won 38 seats and Congress got 48 seats, the ruling party always outclassed the grand old party. In the last election, BJP bagged 49 seats and Congress won 39 seats.
Congress party is deserted from power in the state for the last 14 years and it is longing to end the ‘Vanvas’. Rahul Gandhi-led Congress is confident to repeat the success of recent concluded Karnataka Polls where Congress broke the winning streak of BJP. Congress has not declared in CM candidate but Nand Kumar Sai, Ravindra Choubey, TS Singh Deo and Bhupesh Bhagel are in the race. Aiming to propel anti-incumbency, Rahul Gandhi has raised GST impact, demonetization, distress among farmers and moist issues in the rallies. Congress religiously raised the issue of unemployment as the state is suffering from 30 lakh joblessness.
Ajit Jogi’s party-JCC has made an alliance with Mayawati-led BSP. Jogi and Mayawati both have a strong hold over schedule caste voters but it is yet to be seen that this newly formed equation will attract voters or not. Once Jogi was a big leader in the state but now he lost the charm as he was unceremoniously ousted from his own party Congress. Jogi was caught on camera while dealing money with BJP MLAs in a sting operation. Since then CBI is behind him.
Meanwhile, it would be interesting to see whether voters will show affection to septuagenarian leader Jogi and make the contest triangular. The reality is that the vote sharing is almost equal between Congress (40.3) and BJP (41) so it is expected that the fight is between 2 national parties.