Drubbing in Chhattisgarh tribal belts and urban centres drown Congress | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Drubbing in Chhattisgarh tribal belts and urban centres drown Congress

Dec 04, 2023 01:48 AM IST

Congress party has lost power in Chhattisgarh due to a significant decline in tribal areas, urban centers, and internal leadership struggles.

A complete wipeout in the tribal north; a precipitous fall in the tribal south, and a sharp dip in seats across urban centres have led to the Congress losing power in Chhattisgarh, five years after it stormed to power in the state. In results declared on Sunday, the Congress dropped to 35 seats in Chhattisgarh, down from the 68 seats it won in 2018, with the BJP storming to power with its best ever performance in the state.

 A view of the Chhattisgarh Congress office during the counting of votes for the State Assembly elections, in Raipur on Sunday.
A view of the Chhattisgarh Congress office during the counting of votes for the State Assembly elections, in Raipur on Sunday.

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In the 14 seats of Surguja in north Chhattisgarh, a region where the Congress had won every single seat in 2018, the BJP turned the tables entirely, winning all the seats, including that of deputy Chief Minister TS Singhdeo. Senior Congress leaders said that a protracted leadership struggle within the Congress diminished Singhdeo, who had hoped to be chief minister, and that had caused both internal strife within the party, and a lack of clear messaging in the people.

In Bastar too, where the party held all 12 seats, the Congress was reduced to 4 seats. “Overall, it is clear that our deep losses in tribal seats have left us in this state,” a senior leader said.

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But it isn’t just tribal seats. In urban centres such as Raipur and Durg, the BJP has done exceedingly well, winning all 7 seats in the state’s capital, and winning only 2 of 6 in Durg. These include the losses of several ministers including Shiv Dahariya and Tamradhwaj Sahu, the home minister.

RP Singh, senior Congress leader said, “This result was not expected and we have miscalculated politically.”

Chhattisgarh based political commentator Harsh Dubey said, “The Congress has suffered its primary losses in Surguja, Bastar and urban areas, the first two of which it swept in 2018. The Congress clearly could not read the effects of issues like party infighting and religious conversion in tribal areas, and in urban seats, allegations of corruption seem to have hurt the most.”

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