The Congress, which a majority of exit polls predicted will win Chhattisgarh again and was also ahead in early leads, was stunned by the BJP as the vote count picked up.
By noon, the opposition BJP, which was trailing, caught up and then raced ahead of the ruling Congress. Since, then the BJP has kept up the lead. It is leading in 56, while the Congress is at 34.
The majority mark in the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly is 46.
"The people believed in Modiji's guarantee, that's what the trends show. We could see the undercurrent, didn't know it would be this huge. Bhupesh Baghel has been rejected by Chhattisgarh. Bhupesh Baghel's corruption, liquor scam, Mahadev app scam contributed to this results," Raman Singh, BJP veteran and former Chief Minister, told reporters.
Pressed for an answer as to who will be the Chief Minister if the party comes to power, Mr Singh said, "This would be the party's decision. I never asked for anything, whatever job I was assigned, I did it with all dedication."
Four exit polls predicted the Congress to cross the majority mark on its own, two more predicted 42-44 and the remaining three gave it more than 40 each. Exit polls, though, can often get it wrong.
Only two of nine exit polls gave the BJP the haul of 46+ seats it needs to win the state.
The Congress was banking on the track record of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who re-built the party in the state after the 2013 Jhiram Ghati Maoist attack that decimated the top Congress leadership.
The elections were held in two phases on November 7 and 17. Voter turnout stood at 76.31 per cent, which was slightly lower than the 76.88 per cent recorded in the 2018 polls.