In Chhattisgarh, BJP Eyeing To Knock Out Congress In All 11 Lok Sabha Seats

Lok Sabha polls in Chhattisgarh will be held in three phases on April 19, April 26 and May 7. Counting of votes will be held on June 4.

In Chhattisgarh, BJP Eyeing To Knock Out Congress In All 11 Lok Sabha Seats

BJP hopes to continue the momentum in Chhattisgarh, powered by the 'Modi factor'


An upbeat BJP is eyeing to knock out the Congress in all 11 Lok Sabha seats in Chhattisgarh after its landslide victory in the recent assembly polls in the state, where the grand old party is striving to overcome its shock defeat.

Lok Sabha polls in Chhattisgarh will be held in three phases on April 19, April 26 and May 7. Counting of votes will be held on June 4.

The ruling party hopes to continue the momentum, powered by the 'Modi factor', after it fulfilled various promises, particularly those made to farmers ahead of the state polls, while the Congress seeks to highlight issues related to agriculture, rising inflation, unemployment, and caste census to make a case for it.

The BJP, energised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for 'Abki bar 400 par', has declared candidates for all 11 seats in the state, dropping four sitting MPs and introducing an incumbent state minister into the mix. Three women leaders, including a former MP and a former MLA, figure in its list.

The Congress has announced six names for Chhattisgarh so far, picking experienced leaders like former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, two former state ministers and a sitting MP. Four of these are from the Other Backward Classes (OBC), and one belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community.

Just a year ago, the then ruling Congress in the state appeared comfortably placed, riding high on populist schemes and regionalism rhetoric, but the scenario turned on its head in the assembly polls held in November 2023.

The BJP captured 54 seats in the 90-member assembly after running an aggressive campaign on corruption plank, Hindutva and populist promises and topped it with several rallies by PM Modi. Congress managed to win 35 seats, 33 less than it had won in 2018.

In the latest state assembly polls, BJP saw its vote share leap to 46.27 per cent from 32.97 per cent in 2018, while that of Congress dropped from 43.04 per cent to 42.23 per cent.

Since Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000, Congress has not fared well in Chhattisgarh in the parliamentary elections of 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.

BJP's tally remained at 10 in the first three general elections in the state and dropped to 9 last time, despite its drubbing in the 2018 assembly polls.

The ensuing Lok Sabha elections once again seem to be an uphill task for the Congress in the state.

Following are the key issues in Chhattisgarh for the Lok Sabha polls this time:

Corruption: BJP made it a major plank ahead of Chhattisgarh assembly polls, with PM Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda targeting the previous Baghel government over alleged scams tied to Mahadev betting app, coal and liquor being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Under the new BJP government, the Anti-Corruption Bureau and Economic Offences Wing (EOW) have in the past two months registered FIRs over alleged scams in coal transportation, liquor trade, District Mineral Foundation, custom milling of rice and recruitments by the state Public Service Commission (PSC) during the Congress regime.

The Vishnu Deo Sai government has also announced a CBI probe into the alleged PSC scam.

The BJP has relentlessly attacked the Congress over these alleged wrongdoings, while the rival party has accused it of misusing central agencies to target political opponents.

Welfare schemes: The state government has been claiming that it has fulfilled various 'Modi ki Guarantee' (pre-poll promises) in just two months. It says it has disbursed a pending bonus of Rs 3,716 crore for kharif crop seasons 2014-15 and 2015-16 to more than 12 lakh farmers.

It also plans to launch a monthly financial assistance scheme for women and an input assistance scheme for farmers 'Krishak Unnati Yojna. These schemes could help the BJP consolidate its position ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Ram temple: The BJP has already succeeded in building national fervour around the new shrine at Ayodhya. Grand rituals, feasts and religious events were held across the state to mark the consecration of the Ram temple on January 22. The state government has launched 'Shri Ramlala Darshan Yojana' to send people from the state on pilgrimage to Ayodhya and Varanasi.

Infrastructure: As the then opposition party before state polls, BJP had alleged that infrastructural development was halted in the state after Congress came to power in 2018. It claimed that only a "double-engine" government - BJP at the Centre and state - could boost Chhattisgarh's growth.

Inflation and jobs: The Congress has been extensively targeting the BJP over rising inflation and unemployment in the state.

Mining: The state has been witnessing protests over the allotment of coal blocks in north Chhattisgarh. Recently, the Congress joined such a protest in the Hasdeo Arand region and accused the BJP government in the state of furthering the interests of corporates.

Left Wing Extremism: At least 8 BJP leaders and workers have been killed by suspected Maoists in the past year in the state. The BJP has termed the murders "targeted killings", with some of its leaders claiming a nexus between Congress and lower-rung Maoists.

During the last assembly polls, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had promised to eliminate the Maoist menace in the next five years. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)