Chhattisgarh’s longest serving CM Raman Singh who is popular for his subsidised rice schemes is also called “Chawal Baba” and has introduced several other schemes to win over the people of the state. However, Singh faces anti-incumbency having run the state for three consecutive terms.
The BSP-JCC’s alliance is expected to hurt Congress which has alleged that Jogi’s JCC is the ‘B’ team of BJP. Jogi has countered the criticism and said that he vows by eight holy books that he will not ally with the BJP under any condition. Either way, the alliance is expected to split the SC vote.
To counter Singh and Jogi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has promised to waive farmer loans within 10 days of Congress’ win, a major issue this election season.
Interestingly, in 2013, BJP won the state with a majority of 49 seats while Congress stood second with 39 seats and BSP scored one seat. The vote share margins between the BJP and Congress, however, were wafer thin.
Opinion polls for Chhattisgarh have predicted a BJP win but shown a drop in its number of seats indicating an increase in Congress’ share. According to NWS-Cvoter survey BJP takes home 44 seats while Congress takes 41, CVoter-India TV predicts 47 seats for BJP and 40 for Congress, Today’s-Chanakya predicted 46 for BJP and 42 for Congress. However, ABP-Nielsen predicted an increase in BJP seats to 60 and Congress’ decline to 27 seats and CNN-IBN predicted BJP to win 50 seats and Congress 36.