RAIPUR: The BJP in Chhattisgarh is set to form a government after maintaining convincing leads in all five divisions, despite trailing during the early hours of the counting day.
With a lead in 54 seats, the BJP is way ahead of its arch-rival Congress at 33. The BJP’s remarkable performance has surprised political pundits, considering multiple exit polls predicted an edge for the Congress. Others are ahead in the remaining three seats. The simple majority figure is 46 in the 90-member House.
So far, winners have been officially declared in three seats, all from the BJP, including ex-CM Raman Singh from Rajnandgaon.
CM Bhupesh Baghel is leading from his traditional seat, Patan, by around 10,000 votes, while his deputy, TS Singhdeo, is still trailing. Most ministers in Bhupesh's cabinet are also behind.
The BJP seems likely to surge ahead with a firm victory margin.
The region-wise break-up of the lead suggests the BJP has achieved impressive support in the tribal belts in south Chhattisgarh’s Bastar zone and in the north Sarguja division.
In Bastar region, the BJP is leading in 8 out of the 12 seats, while in Sarguja, the saffron party registered a mega upswing in 13 out of the 14 seats.
In the Durg division comprising 20 seats, the BJP and the Congress are leading in ten seats each, and in the Bilaspur range of 24 seats, the Congress is ahead in 12 seats.
During the initial trend, the Raipur division, which has 20 seats, witnessed the Congress lead in twelve assembly segments till 3 pm.
Celebrations have begun at the BJP state office in Raipur.
Om Mathur, the election in-charge of Chhattisgarh, and co-incharge, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, are on their way to Raipur from Delhi."