oppn parties Chhattisgarh: Divided Opposition Makes It Easy For BJP

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Chhattisgarh: Divided Opposition Makes It Easy For BJP

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Congress party has lost a very good opportunity of unseating the Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh by ignoring Mayawati to the point that she quickly aligned with Ajit Jogi. Those who manage the party’s affairs in the state perhaps did not do simple voting percentage calculations. Otherwise, they would not have let go of the BSP at any cost. For, the voting pattern in the state shows that very little separates the Congress from the BJP, while the BSP gets nearly 4 to 5% of the popular votes. With Ajit Jogi likely to chip in with 3 to 4% of votes (most of it snared from the Congress), it will all work out to the advantage of the BJP. With opposition votes divided, it will now take a swing of more than 7 to 10 percent away from the BJP to defeat it. If Congress had aligned with the BSP, the task would have been achieved even if all parties latched on to the votes they got in the last elections.

Raman Singh has been chief minister for three straight terms from 2003. The electoral performance of the BJP shows a small increase in support for it in each subsequent election. In 2003, the BJP got 50 seats with 39.26% of popular votes, while the Congress got 37 seats with 36.71% votes and the BSP 2 seats and 4.45% votes. The figures in 2008 were BJP 50 (40.33%), Congress 38 (38.63) and the BSP 2 (6.11), while in 2013 the BJP won 49 (41.00), Congress 39 (40.03) and the BSP 1 (4.30). This shows that while the BJP has not lost vote share, the Congress is catching up in every election. The difference in 2003 was 2.55%, in 2008 1.7% while in 2013 it dropped to under 1%. Theoretically, if Congress and BSP had combined they would have scored an easy victory. But that was not to be and now it seems that Raman Singh will shake off anti-incumbency and romp home to victory.