Chhattisgarh elections: Jogi can be the X factor, needs just 10 seats to play kingmaker
Raipur, Nov 15: Is Ajit Jogi, the X factor in the Chhattisgarh assembly elections. The former Congressman who now heads the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh is in a tie up with the BSP.
The first phase of polling recorded a 70 per cent turn out in the naxal affected regions of Bastar and Rajnandgaon regions. There were 18 constituencies that polled in the first phase. In the previous election held in 2013, in this region, the Congress had won 12 and remaining were bagged by the BJP.
If this trend continues this time as well, then the BJP has plenty to be worried about. The point to be mentioned here is that in the previous elections there was no BSP-Jogi alliance. The difference in vote share between the Congress and the BJP, which won the 2013 poll was just one per cent.
On November 20, the state votes in the second phase and there are 72 seats up for grabs. It is here that Jogi and the BSP will be put to test. In the first phase, Jogi may not have been a major factor. He has not great impact in the Bastar and adjoining regions that polled in the first phase. This can be seen from the fact that in some constituencies Jogi's party did not field candidates and let those seats for the CPI, with which the party is in an understanding.
The Jogi-BSP combine would be put to test in the Bilaspur division, which has 29 seats. If this combine does well in this region, then it could end up playing the kingmaker as it would disturb the equations of both the Congress and BJP. This region would hold the key for the combine and its fate in the government formation would be decided depending on how big it can win.
Jogi has positioned himself as a chief ministerial candidate. However the reality is that at best he could end up playing the role of a kingmaker. All he would need to win is around 10 to 15 seats and this could disturb both the Congress and BJP. In such an event, both parties would have to look up to Jogi to install the next government in Chhattisgarh.
The BSP on the other hand would look to target constituencies such as Akaltara, Chandrapur, Jejepur and Pamgad, which have a heavy concentration of SC votes. The BSP would look to convert the BJP votes in these regions as analysts feel that the voters are unhappy with the ruling party. Analysts point out that the voters here are more likely to back a third force rather than the BJP or Congress.