With a strong campaign centred around corruption in the incumbent Congress government led by Bhupesh Baghel, the Bharatiya Janata Party has decisively won the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh.
In the 2018 elections, which ended 15 years of the Raman Singh-led BJP rule in the state, disenchantment among paddy farmers was believed to be one of the key factors along with anti-incumbency that helped the Congress dislodge the saffron party and win 68 of the 90 assembly seats in the state.
The BJP has learnt from its mistakes in the 2018 defeat. In its manifesto, it has promised to procure paddy at Rs 3,100 per quintal—Rs 500 more than what the current Congress government offers. It has also promised to deliver on the outstanding paddy procurement bonus for the two remaining years of the Raman Singh government at Rs 300 per quintal by December 25, if it comes to power.
The Congress has called the BJP manifesto a “copy” of its promises but subsequently upped the ante and promised to procure paddy at Rs 3,200 (20 quintal per acre).
Along with making corruption by the Bhupesh Baghel government a major issue in the elections, the BJP has also accused the Congress of “forced conversions” in the tribal Adivasi-dominated regions of Bastar division, along with increasing Maoist attacks under the Congress government. In the 2018 elections, which ended 15 years of the Raman Singh-led BJP rule in the state, disenchantment among paddy farmers is believed to be one of the key factors, along with anti-incumbency, that helped the Congress dislodge the saffron party and win 68 of the 90 assembly seats in the state and reduced the BJP to 15 seats.
The Congress had belatedly attempted to set its house in order ahead of the elections by making T.S. Singh Deo, who has been at loggerheads with the chief minister in the past, the state’s deputy chief minister. The BJP, on the other hand, went to the polls without a chief ministerial face and said that the party works on the principle of “collective leadership.”