Ever since the state was formed in 2000, Chhattisgarh has been extremely crucial for Bharatiya Janata Party. Since 2003, they have been ruling the state, and are popular with the masses. However, this can’t rule out the anti incumbency factor that the ruling party is facing in the runup to the 2018 assembly elections.
As the elections are drawing closer, the importance of winning Chhattisgarh is also growing manifold, both for BJP and the opposition. If BJP views this state as another chance to cement their authority as well as continue their concept of welfare with the masses, the opposition has a sole motive: dislodge BJP from power, whatever the costs.
There are many factors that would determine who takes away Chhattisgarh in the end. However, the most important ones are listed as follows:-
- The Style of Election:-
The current election will be a three way election, where BJP is competing not only against Congress, the prime opposition, but also a new alliance of ex Congress stalwart and ex CM Ajit Jogi, who has allied with the BSP supremo and ex UP CM, Mayawati.
Fortunately, this type of election is more of a blessing in disguise for BJP rather than a genuine concern, for whenever there has been a camp other than Congress or a united opposition, BJP has largely benefited from the split of votes between the opposition parties, and what better cases to explain than BJP’s victories in states like Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur, Asom etc.?
- Work on curbing Naxalism:-
Another issue where BJP scores on an impressive note is the issue of tackling Naxals. Ever since BJP has taken up the charge, both at Central and State level, the number of victims to Naxal attacks have significantly reduced, from a whopping 327 in 2013-14 to a mere 167 by 2017-18. We’re no strangers to the fact that the spate of Naxal attacks has also increased in response to the strict measures as undertaken by the paramilitary forces backed vociferously by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
However, this is because the Naxals are now afraid of not only losing ground, but also the support they allegedly claim to have among the locals, because the more they lose ground, the more people will join the mainstream narrative, and the more they join, the more the voters for BJP will increase, which is something that won’t go down well either with the opposition or the Naxals. If curbing Naxalism is considered as a significant parameter in the governance of Chhattisgarh, BJP has seriously scored big time in it.
- Improvement on Infrastructure and Economic Growth:-
This is one area that can almost guarantee BJP a certified victory in Chhattisgarh. One of the key parameters of judging if the government has been successful in improving the infrastructure and propelling the state on the path of economic growth, and in this genre, BJP has successfully passed the test with flying colors. Raman Singh is one of those few CMs who worked diligently in pulling Chhattisgarh out of the notorious BIMARU group, which was a tag for the extremely underdeveloped states of India back in the early 2000s.
Also, as of now, Chhattisgarh is one of the fastest developing states of the nation, with a growth rate more than even the national average. From reeling under debts at its birth, Chhattisgarh has come a long way now. Improved roads, better access to electricity, immense opportunities for growth in every competitive arena imaginable, a nice support to sports like field hockey, you name it and Chhattisgarh has it.
As BJP is scoring big time in these 3 essential areas, it is time that we focus more on ground realities than the so called election surveys who claim to be the ‘soul sister of truth’. No doubt BJP has its own challenges to grapple with, but they aren’t too big to be conquered in time. We hope that BJP wins Chhattisgarh with flying colors and gives the opposition a befitting reply.
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