Chhattishgarh election 2023: How key Congress figure TS Singh Deo failed to secure victory

| Updated: 04 December, 2023 4:21 pm IST

New Delhi: Chhattisgarh’s outgoing Deputy Chief Minister, TS Singh Deo, expressed surprise on Monday, over the state assembly election results declared a day earlier. Speaking to media, he admitted that he hadn’t anticipated his own defeat and neither had he imagined that the Congress party wouldn’t secure power in Chhattisgarh.

“It wasn’t expected. I didn’t foresee my loss or that the Congress party wouldn’t come into power in the state. No one had predicted this outcome. All the polls indicated a Congress government in Chhattisgarh, but everyone was mistaken,” Singh stated.

Reflecting on the election outcome, the former Deputy CM noted that while the Congress didn’t experience a drop in its vote share, the BJP significantly boosted its share, clinching a political victory.

“We need to analyse our loss. The media surveys were off the mark here. We had hoped to secure as many seats as the BJP did. The Congress’ vote share remained consistent compared to the last time, but the BJP managed to increase theirs by 14 per cent. They went from 32 per cent to 46 per cent, which was unexpected,” TS Singh Deo explained.

Deo, suffered a major blow in the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections of 2023, suffering a narrow defeat from Ambikapur constituency by 94 votes.

The outgoing Deputy Chief Minister lost to BJP’s Rajesh Agrawal.

Deo, who played a crucial role for Congress in the 2018 Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, couldn’t repeat his success this time. Although, his compatriot CM Bhupesh Baghel secured a hard fought victory against his nephew, BJP’s Vijay Baghel.

In the 2018 Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, Deo had emerged victorious with a substantial margin of 39,624 votes against the BJP’s Anurag Singh Deo.

Contrary to expectations and exit polls, Congress found itself trailing behind the BJP as results unfolded. Despite earlier predictions of securing 49 seats, Congress managed to secure only 33, while the BJP comfortably crossed the magic number with 54 wins.

Some notable setbacks for Congress included the defeat of ministers Mohammad Akbar, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Amarjeet Bhagat, and others. One of the surprises of the election was the victory of BJP’s Ishwar Sahu, a farmer chosen as a symbol of justice after his son’s tragic death in a communal incident. The farmer defeated the seven-time MLA and minister Ravindra Choubey.

The newly appointed Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Deepak Baij, also faced a major setback by losing from Chitrakote, having won the seat in 2018 but vacating it prior to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

On the flip side, BJP celebrated successful comebacks, with former CM Raman Singh winning by a significant margin. However, the party’s leader of opposition, Narayan Chandel, faced defeat in Janjgir Champa. Former IAS officers O P Choudhary and Neelkant Tekam secured victories in Raigarh and Keshkal, respectively for the BJP.

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