RAIPUR: The BJP in Chhattisgarh had gone into the poll campaign with the slogan, ‘Raman par vishwas, kamal sang vikas’. Ironically, the party suffered its worst defeat in the home district of three-term chief minister Dr Raman Singh.
Even psephologists and political observers couldn’t gauge the magnitude of the anti-incumbency sentiments, which was so intense that the BJP lost the Kawardha seat with the biggest margin in the state.
BJP candidate Ashok Sahu lost to senior Congress leader Mohammed Akbar by 59,284 votes, the biggest margin recorded in the state. The seat saw the maximum 30 rounds of counting and the result was declared the next day.
The Kawardha constituency was closely monitored by the CM’s son and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Singh as it was a battle of prestige for the Singh family. “BJP leaders are now admitting that the party’s arrogance, over-confidence, poor manifesto drafting and wrongdoings that crept into the governance finally halted its victory juggernaut after three consecutive wins since 2003,” said political analyst Ashok Tomar.
When contacted, the BJP’s top state leadership said it’s time for introspection, especially over the humiliating loss in Kawardha. The Congress, on the other hand, is rubbing it in.“The people of Kawardha have overwhelmingly supported us as the BJP government lost control over the administration owing to corruption. Despite being known as the bastion of the father-son duo, the people were disillusioned with them and voted against the arrogance and corrupt leaders,” said Akbar, who had lost the same seat in 2013.