Chhattisgarh Assembly election update: Congress set for comeback after 15 years, Raman Singh resigns as CM

New Delhi: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has resigned after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a massive loss in the Chhattisgarh assembly elections. Tendering his resignation, Raman Singh said he takes the “moral responsibility” for the BJP’s defeat. Raman Singh had been the state’s chief minister for the past 15 years.

The latest trends released by the Election Commission indicate a clear majority for the grand old party. Trends for 89 of the 90 seats are available so far. The Congress was leading in 63 seats, while the ruling BJP was a distant second at 18. Ajit Jogi’s Janta Congress Chhattisgarh was ahead in five and Bahujan Samaj Party was leading in three.

The Congress, with the help of concerted efforts of party president Rahul Gandhi, PL Punia and Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee Bhupesh Bhagel, has handed over a crushing defeat to the BJP.

Commenting on party’s superb performance, Bhagel credited the strong party organisation for the victory. “We were not expecting such a big blessing from the people. We were expecting around 60 seats,” Baghel told PTI.

On the issue of chief ministership, Bhagel said the decision will be taken by the high command. “The high command will take a decision on this. The responsibility that was given to me, I have fulfilled that,” he told PTI.

“We strengthened the Congress organisation at the basic level under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership and through that, we fought the battle for the common man,” Baghel added.

Updates:

7.50pm: “This is a victory of Congress workers, small traders, farmers. This is a big responsibility for Congress party and we will work on this,” says COngress president Rahul Gandhi.

7.45pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrives at the party headquarters in Delhi.

7.20pm: “Before Parliament election, the polls in five states show it was a mini parliamentary election. My greetings to all the winning parties,” says MK Stalin, DMK president.

 

6.45pm: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik: I congratulate Congress, MNF for their success. It clearly shows the mood of the nation. These states are pre-dominantly agrarian states & BJP govt in the Centre has more or less ignored the Swaminathan report recommendations & loan problems of farmers.

6.40pm: The CRPF jawan who was injured in an IED blast in Chintagupha, Sukma has succumbed to his injuries.

6.30pm: “We humbly accept the mandate by the people. They have not given us the right, they have given us a responsibility. They believed the promises we made in our manifesto. People trusted the words of Rahul Gandhi ji&gave us an agenda, we accept it,” Congress’ PL Punia.

6.20pm: Raman Singh, outgoing CM of Chhattisgarh: We respect the mandate that the public has given. I congratulate Congress on this success. I consider it my luck to serve the public of Chhattisgarh for the last 15 years.

6.15pm: “This is a victory of democracy. BJP had a lot of money & a team of corrupt officers, they also had conspirators in their pocket. Despite all of this, the mandate given by the people in Chhattisgarh is historic,” says Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh Congress President.

6.10pm: “This is the victory of Rahul Gandhi, our party, workers, people, and the fight against scams. This is the victory of humanity,” says Congress’ Kapil Sibal.

6pm: Outgoing Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh: I have tendered my resignation to the Governor.

5pm: “There are many reasons behind BJP’s defeat, proud of being in power & misuse of democratic institutions are some. People from all strata of society are against BJP. This a disaster for them,” says Mamata Banerjee.

4.10pm: The CRPF jawan who was injured in an IED blast in Chintagupha, Sukma has been evacuated by a chopper for Raipur. More details awaited.

4pm: Congress President Bhupesh Baghel and workers celebrate in Raipur.

3:40 pm: With Congress all set to come to power in Chhattisgarh, state Congress president Bhupesh Baghel and workers celebrate in Raipur.

3:35 pm: Chief Minister Raman Singh leading by a margin of more than 5,000 votes in Rajnandgaon constituency.

3.32pm: Newly elected Congress MLAs of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan will meet in Raipur and Jaipur respectively tomorrow.

3.30pm: Chhattisgarh Congress President Bhupesh Baghel arrives at Congress office in Raipur. He says, “Ppl of Chhattisgarh took the fight in their own hands. We are grateful to Rahul Gandhi, we fought for the ppl. We got more seats than expected, high command will decide who will be CM.”

3pm: One CRPF jawan injured in an IED blast in Chintagupha, Sukma. Further details awaited.

2.45pm: Facing a crushing defeat in the Chhattisgarh Assembly Election, BJP headquarters at Raipur BJP wears a deserted look.

2:30 pm: EC releases trends for 83 assembly constituencies. Congress continues with its impressive performance, surges ahead in 63 seats. BJP leading in just 13 seats. Ajit Jogi’s Chhattisgarh Janata Congress (JCC) continues to lead in five seats.

2pm: Rajasthan Congress leader Sachin Pilot said the Congress was marching towards victory in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and the trend would continue in the future in the rest of India.

1.50pm: Celebrations outside Congress office in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. Congress is leading on 60 out of 90 seats in the state.

1.45pm: “I knew we would lose in Rajasthan & Chhattisgarh but MP trends have come as a surprise. I think we forgot the issue of development that Modi took up in 2014. Ram Mandir, statues & name changing became the focus,” says Sanjay Kakade, BJP Rajya Sabha MP.

1.45pm: Congress President Rahul Gandhi reaches Sonia Gandhi’s residence, 10 Janpath.

1:30 pm: Buoyed with Chhattisgarh election results, Pradesh Congress Committee president Bhupesh Baghel assures to lay the foundation stone for a new Chhattisgarh. He assures the electorate that he would tirelessly work for the people of the state.

1:25 pm: Election Commission releases trends for 83 constituencies. The Congress is all set to grab the power as it way ahead in 59 seats; BJP ahead in 17. Ajit Jogi’s is likely to wrest five seats.

1:20 pm: TS Baba of Congress is ahead with 43298 votes. Congress’ Anurag Singh Deo from the     Bharatiya Janata Party trails with 32418 votes.

1:15 pm: Stiff competition goin on between BJP stalwart Raman Singh and Congress leader Karuna Shukla. At present Raman Singh is leading by 1300 votes.

1pm: Congress workers celebrate in Raipur as trends show the party leading in the state.

12.50pm: Incumbent CM Raman Singh has been leading by a margin of 1,500 votes in the Rajnandgaon assembly constituency. He is pitted against Congress’ Karuna Shukla, niece of late former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Ajit Jogi is leading by about 12,500 votes in Marwahi (ST) constituency.

12.36pm: As per the current tally, the Congress has been maintaining lead in 64 seats. The majority mark is 46 and the BJP is leading in just 18. With the current tally in Chhattisgarh, the Congress is likely to return to power after 15 years of the BJP government.

Current tally
BJP:
 18
Cong: 64
Oth: 08

12pm: “Nothing is yet clear from the trends. Congratulations to the MLA candidates and the political parties that are winning. But Mahagathbandhan has failed terribly in Telangana,” says Union minister Rajnath Singh.

11:20 am: According to Election Commission Congress is leading in 53 seats, BJP in 16, Communist Party of India in 1, Gondvana Gantantra Party in 1 and Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) in 4 seats.

11.10am: Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu says, “Rahul bhai pehle se hi sabko saath leke chalte hain. Insaniyat ki moorat hain. Jo haath Bharat ki takdir ko apne haathon mein lene waale hain, wo bade majboot hain, aur BJP ka naya naam- GTU, “Gire to bhi Tang Upar.”

11:00 am: After three hours of counting trends say that Congress party is leading in 59 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has managed to open its account in just 24 seats. The other parties collectively are leading in seven seats.

10:50 am: Raman Singh again trails from Rajnandgaon. Congress leader and niece of late former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee  Karuna Shukla leads from the home turf of Raman Singh

10:47 am: JCC congress candidate Pramod Sharma is leading from Balod Bazar, Ajit Jogi leading by a margin of 5000 votes from Marwahi constituency and Leader of the opposition in the Chhattisgarh Assembly TS Singhdeo ahead by a margin of 6800 votes from Ambikapur.

10:43 am: Latest trends say that the Congress was racing ahead in 58 seats, BJP in 24, BSP+2 and Others 5. The BJP is ahead in Vaishalinagar, Pamgarh, Bilaspur and Rampur seats.

10:40 am: The Congress was leading in Ramanujganj, Raipur Rural, Raipur Nagar Uttar, Sanjari balod , Durg rural, Samari, Ambikapur, Katghora, Pali-Tanakhar, Beltara, Saraipali, Basna, Bilaigarh, Baloda Bazar, Kavardha and Narayanpur seats.

10:35 am: An election official confirms Ajit Jogi was leading in Marwahi seat, while his wife Renu Jogi was ahead in Kota constituency.

10:31 am: Chhattisgarh Health Minister Ajay Chandrakar leading in Kurud constituency, Bhilai Mayor Devendra Yadav from Congress leading in Bhilai Nagar and former Ajit Jogi’s daughter-in-law Richa Jogi, who is contesting on a BSP ticket is leading from Akaltara constituency.

10:26 am: Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Tomar expresses his views on the avaialble trends for the Assembly Elections. He said: “We shouldn’t be surprised. We have been saying this during the election but BJP is comfortable.

10:22 am: Official ECI trends – Congress leading on 21 seats, BJP leading on 5, Janata Congress on 2 seats.

10:15am: PM Modi has called for a meeting of the BJP core group at 10.30 pm to evaluate the results of the five states elections.

10.13am: “These are early trends. We hope to perform well,” says home minister Rajnath Singh.

10.07am: Congress workers celebrate outside party office in Delhi.

10am: Congress’ Karuna Shukla, who is in a direct contest with CM Raman Singh, is now leading on the Rajnandgaon assembly seat.

9.54am: In Chhattisgarh election result, Congress is now leading on 48 seats and the BJP is trailing on 34 seats.

9.48am: According to official ECI trends, former Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi is at third position at Marwahi. The BJP is leading on the assembly seat.

9.42am: The Congress takes a lead on 50 seats as per the early trends.

9.40am: The Congress is leading in all 7 seats in Raipur area.

9.35am: After trailing for a while, incumbent Chief Minister Raman Singh is now leading on the Rajnandgaon assembly seat by 145 votes. Singh now leads with 3,700 votes against Congress’ Karuna Shukla. Devti Karma Congress leader is leading from Dantewada constituency.

Current tally
BJP: 19
Cong: 50
Oth: 06

9.30am: The Congress is leading on 50 seats out of a total of 90 seats and the BJP is leading on just 19 seats. The BJP has, however, expressed confidence of winning the state.

9.18am: Three-time Chief Minister Raman Singh is trailing in Rajnandgaon assembly constituency, while JCC’s Ajit Jogi is leading in Marwahi seat. Raman Singh is up against Congress’ Karuna Shukla.

9.11am: The Congress has now gained a lead on a total of 37 seats. The BJP, on the other hand, is trailing with only 19 seats.

8.55am: The trends for the Chhattisgarh Election are showing that Congress is racing ahead in 23 assembly seats, BJP in 15, BSP+ 1 and Independents 4.

8.51am: The Congress party is now leading on 22 seats, while the BJP is close behind with 20 seats. The other parties, that also include the BSP-JCC alliance, are leading on only 3 seats.

8.36am: The initial trends have now BJP taking lead on 16 seats. While the Congress has taken a lead on 15 seats, the BSP-JCC alliance has not opened its account in the Chhattisgarh election result.

8:32 am: Early trends say that Congress’ Rekh Chand Jain is leading from Jagdalpur and TS Singhdev is ahead from Ambikapur.

8.32am: The BJP is now leading on 13 seats, while is Congress is close behind on 12. The early trends showed Congress taking the first lead.

8.23am: In the postal ballot counting, the Congress is now leading on 10 seats, while the BJP is leading on 8 seats.

8.17am: Congress workers perform ‘hawan’ outside Rahul Gandhi’s residence in Delhi.

8.16am: Early trends have started coming in and the Congress party is now leading on a total of 4 seats, while the BJP is leading on two seats. The Rahul Gandhi-led party had taken a lead in Bastar region. The number is based on the counting of the postal ballots.

8.01am: The counting has begun and the early trends will start coming in shortly.

7.43am: The counting of the votes polled in Chhattisgarh election will begin shortly. Counting of the postal ballots will begin at 8 am. The counting of the votes from the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will begin half-an-hour later (at 8:30 am).

6.45am: The security has been beefed up ahead of the counting of votes in Chhattisgarh polls. Tight security arrangements have been made at the counting centres in all the 27 districts, particularly the Naxal-affected areas. As many as 5,184 counting personnel and 1,500 micro-observers have been appointed for smooth conduct of the process.

Results for four other states, Rajasthan, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram, will also be declared along with Madhya Pradesh.