Congress looks set to end Raman reign in Chhattisgarh

Congress looks set to end Raman reign in Chhattisgarh

Raman Singh. PTI file photo.

The Congress appeared all set to shatter BJP leader Raman Singh's dream of a consecutive fourth term as Chhattisgarh chief minister, as per early trends for the state Assembly elections.

Congress was leading in 58 seats, while the ruling BJP was a distant second at 17.

Trends for 82 of the 90 seats where polling was held in two phases, are available so far, a poll official said.

Congress, which has 39 legislators in the outgoing House BJP has 10 more - appeared to have gotten its act together in the tribal-dominated state.

The Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) of former chief minister Ajit Jogi was ahead in five seats while the CPI and the Gondwana Gantantra Party and the CPI (M) were leading in one seat each, the official said.

Five ministers in the BJP government - Brijmohan Agrawal (Raipur City South), Kedar Kashyap (Narayanpur constituency), Mahesh Gagda (Bijapur), Dayaldas Baghel (Nawagarh) and Amar Agrawal (Bilaspur) - were trailing.

However, state presidents of the BJP and the Congress - Dharamlal Kaushik and Bhupesh Baghel - were leading in Bilha and Patan seats respectively.

Leader of Opposition T S Singhdeo and Congress MP from Durg Lok Sabha seat Tamradhwaj Sau were leading in Ambikapur and Durg Rural seats, respectively.

Ajit Jogi was leading in Marwahi seat while his wife Renu Jogi was ahead in Kota constituency, the official said.

Counting for all the 90 seats started at 8 am. The counting of postal ballots was first taken up followed by counting of votes from the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

The state had recorded 76.60 percent voter turnout.

The Congress is aiming to stage a comeback after being in the opposition for 15 years.

Following is the party-wise position in the outgoing Assembly: BJP-49, Congress-39, BSP-one and Independent-one.