Chhattisgarh: Can BJP beat NOTA challenge in CM Raman Singh’s district Rajnandgaon?
Raipur, Oct 21: Although Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh looks favourite to win from his seat Rajnandgaon in the upcoming Assembly polls next month, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a concern in this constituency and it is not about the Opposition candidates but the option of NOTA (None Of The Above).
In the 2013 Assembly elections, three of Rajnandgaon district's six Assembly constituencies saw NOTA receiving more votes than the winning candidates' margins of victory and if that trend continues this time as well, then the ruling party will be under added pressure.
In 2013, NOTA votes denied BJP victory over Congress in 3 Rajnandgaon seats
In 2013, Khairagarh saw NOTA receiving 4,643 votes while the victory margin for the winning candidate - Congress's Girwar Janghel - was only 2,190. In Mohala-Manpur, NOTA got 5,742 votes while the winning candidate - Congress's Tej Kumar Gowardhan Netam -- won by just 956 votes. In Dongagraon, NOTA received 4,062 votes while the margin of victory for Congress's Daleshwar Sahu was 1,698 votes.
The striking feature of this result is that the Congress won in these three seats by narrow margins and had the NOTA votes had gone into the kitty of the BJP, which finished second in all the seats, then the saffron party would have overtaken the Congress. The BJP won only two out of six seats in Rajnandgaon district and apart from the CM's 35,866-vote margin victory, it has been mostly a narrow game where the NOTA played a significant factor.
The BJP will be hoping to transfer the NOTA votes into its kitty so that it doesn't lose out closely against the Opposition again this time. However, given the district Kisan Sangh's announcement that its votes could go to NOTA if it finds no able candidate, the BJP could face a tougher anti-incumbency challenge in the form of NOTA.
Rajnandgaon will go to the polls on November 20.