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BJP's Impressive Victory: Deciphering the Patterns and Margins in Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2023


The resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged triumphant with an impressive unexpected victory, clinching 54 out of 90 seats in the recently concluded Chhattisgarh elections that witnessed a voter turnout of 76.31%. The battle between the BJP and the INC was characterised by a 4% difference in vote share and the average winning margin stood at 12.2%.

Party Seat Count Vote Share
BJP 54 46.27%
INC 35 42.23%
Others 1 11.54%

Source of Table: ECI

Remarkably, the BJP secured victory in all 14 seats in Surguja, which were previously held by Congress. The BJP's sweeping victory in Surguja, a tribal-dominated region, could be attributed to the Congress's perceived failure to address tribal concerns.The BJP focused on Naxal violence and mass conversions, a strategy that effectively swayed voters in its favour. In Bilaspur, Congress gained one seat but experienced losses in the rest of the zones.

2023 AE 2018 AE
Zone BJP INC Others BJP INC Others
Bastar 8 4 0 1 11 0
Bilaspur 10 13 1 7 12 5
Durg 10 10 0 2 17 1
Raipur 12 8 0 5 14 1
Surguja 14 0 0 0 14 0

Source: ECI

In urban areas, the BJP secured over four times the seats compared to the previous elections, while in rural areas, they clinched three times the number of seats.

2023 AE 2018 AE
Rural 31 22 1 10 39 5
Urban 23 13 0 5 29 2

Source: ECI

The BJP achieved a significant triumph in ST-dominated regions, securing 17 seats, a substantial increase from the 3 seats obtained in the 2018 Assembly elections. Conversely, Congress witnessed a decline in seat count, reducing to 11 from its previous 25 in this particular region. In SC-dominated areas, although Congress secured more seats than the BJP, the latter gained 2 seats, while Congress lost one compared to the preceding elections.

2023 AE 2018 AE
Seat Type BJP INC Others BJP INC Others
GEN 33 18 0 10 36 5
SC 4 6 0 2 7 1
ST 17 11 1 3 25 1

Source: ECI

Key candidates in the elections including Raman Singh and Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel secured victory in their respective constituencies. Former BJP state chief Vishnu Deo Sai won Kunkuri with 54.9% of the vote share and has been designated as the Chief Minister of Chattisgarh, becoming the state's first tribal leader. Raman Singh, who served as the chief minister from 2002 to 2018, is set to take on the role of the speaker.

Vishnu Deo Sai after being announced as the CM of Chhattisgarh said he will fulfil “Modi ki guarantee”, a strategy which has worked well in the favour of BJP. The BJP’s central leadership swung into action just before the polls with PM Modi as the face of the campaign.

Despite Bhupesh Baghel's implementation of various welfare measures, the electoral impact fell short of expectations, evident in their ambitious slogan "abki baar, 75 par." Controversies, like the Mahadev app saga, casted shadows on Baghel's chances, while the BJP's strategic document alleging corruption and nepotism created ripples in the voter narrative. The BJP's efforts of intensifying a Hindutva narrative in contrast to the Congress's adoption of a soft Hindutva strategy, struck a chord with voters and resonated more effectively during the elections. These factors including promises in the manifesto likely contributed to the surge of the BJP in the state, influencing voters to cast their votes in favour of the party. Will a similar strategy get BJP an electoral win in the upcoming elections as well? Watch this space for more such insights.

Sara Nasreen

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