Raipur, Dec 4 – In a sequence bringing out the strong anti-incumbency sentiment, no less than nine ministers bit the dust in Chhattisgarh though Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel emerged victorious in the vote count for the Assembly election on Sunday.
Assembly Speaker Charan Das Mahant also managed a win from Sakti, but his deputy Sant Kumar Netam was humbled as counting of votes progressed. The BJP has won a clearcut majority by bagging 49 seats thus far and is leading in 5, whereas the ruling Congress figures are 17 and 18 vis-à-vis the 90-member Assembly.
The Gondvana Gantantra Party bagged the remaining seat. Deputy Chief Minister Tribhuvaneshwar Saran Singh Deo was defeated by a wafer-thin margin of 187 votes at what used to be his ‘traditional’ bastion Ambikapur, in Surguja district. Deo, who was vanquished by the BJP’s Rajesh Agrawal, has applied for a recount.
For the first time since Independence, Sitapur went out of the Congress grasp as Food Minister Amarjeet Bhagat was routed by the BJP’s Ramkumar Toppo.
In Arang, Urban Development Minister Shivkumar Dahariya lost to Guru Khushwant Saheb (BJP) by 16,500 votes. Newcomer Ishwar Sahu (BJP) trounced Congress stalwart and Minister Ravindra Choubey in Saja.
Senior Minister Mohammad Akbar was sent home at Kawardha by Vijay Sharma (BJP). It was indeed sheer irony that Akbar – who notched up the highest victory margin in 2018 – lost by more than 41,000 votes.
Minister Mohan Markam was humbled by BJP Vice President Lata Usendi who garnered 18,000 votes more. In Korba, Revenue Minister Jaisingh Agrawal lost to Lakhanlal Devangan (BJP) by a margin exceeding 25,000.
Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu was beaten by Lalit Chandrakar (BJP) by more than 15,000 votes. Minister Guru Rudra Sahu’s constituency change did not help as the BJP surfed on an anti-incumbency wave.