Chhattisgarh polls: Jogi factor did more good than harm for the Congress
Raipur, Dec 12: The Ajit Jogi factor was closely watched ahead of the elections in Chhattisgarh, which was ultimately won by the Congress. Many had stated that Jogi, the head of the JCC would have hurt his former party the Congress, but going by the numbers, he did not manage to do that.
Jogi, who was the first Chief Minister of the state was in a tie up with Mayawati enjoys a strong following among the Dalit community particularly in the belts in Sarguja in north and south Bastar.
The data that was released by the Election Commission of India suggests that Jogi did take 9 per cent of the Congress vote in the divisions of Bilaspur, Durg and Raipur. This led to the vote share of the Congress coming down from 40.3 per cent to 31. While this could have sealed the fate of the Congress which had lost the last elections by a margin of less than 0.5 per cent, the party however pulled back in the other regions.
The Congress made up for this deficit by snatching from the BJP the backward votes in the state. Data suggests that the Congress took away at least 8 per cent of the BJP's OBC and Sahu-Kami votes and in the bargain brought down the BJP's vote share by nearly 9 per cent.
To bag in the OBC votes, the Congress also fielded three dominant faces from the community, who are also CM probables. They are Bhupesh Baghel, Tamradhwaj Sahu and Charandas Mahant. The Congress finally managed to win a two-thirds majority with almost a 10 per cent lead in the vote share. This is a huge margin considering the fact that the elections in Chhattisgarh have been a close contest with the winning margins being less than 1 per cent.
Experts also say that the fact that Jogi quit the Congress was also an advantage. His exit may have made the Congress more acceptable to the OBCs. This coupled with the fact that the Congress fielded three dominant faces from the community could have helped the party win big in the state.