Bhupesh Baghel is leading in his seat, though the Congress lost the state
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is leading by some 20,000 votes in Patan constituency, though his party the Congress has lost the state, according to trends. The BJP has crossed the halfway mark with 54 seats in the 90-seat assembly.
The Congress had been in the lead in Chhattisgarh in early trends, but the BJP covered up ground by afternoon.
The Congress has not won consecutive elections in the same state in over two decades. The Chhattisgarh results today hence did not surprise many. The exit polls had predicted good numbers for the Congress, with a distinct edge over the BJP.
Just days before polling, a controversy erupted over alleged corruption allegations against Mr Baghel. The Enforcement Directorate, which the Opposition claims is used by the BJP to target rivals before elections, arrested a 'hawala' courier with Rs 5 crore. The courier allegedly named Mr Baghel as one of those receiving kickbacks from an illegal online gaming app.
With the election results showing the Congress as the defeated, Mr Baghel problems could become bigger, even if he wins his seat.
Mr Baghel had on Thursday expressed confidence his party would retain power. "... After two days everyone will show the same poll outcome. Let the exit polls play out, but we will form government with full majority," he had told reporters in Raipur airport.