New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Dec 11: The Chattisgarh verdict certainly was not expected. The exit polls also did not predict such a sweeping victory for the Congress. The coalition between BSP led by Mayawati and Ajit Jogi's Janta Congress Chhattisgarh and the CPI added a new twist to the Chhattisgarh Polls. In Chhattisgarh it was a three-way battle between the ruling BJP, the Congress and the Ajit Jogi-Mayawati-led alliance. The çhawal baba'as he is fondly called could not amuse the voters this time, the third time, as the farmers' issues, unemployment and the Naxal issues emerged as major threats.The Congress had fielded former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's niece Karuna Shukla against BJP's Raman Singh in his home turf. While Raman Singh is the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP, Ajit Jogi is the chief ministerial candidate for the BSP-JCC alliance. The Congress has not named its chief ministerial candidate.Here are the major highlights of the Chattisgarh Assembly elections and results:
1. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was seeking a fourth straight term in office under the leadership of Chief Minister Raman Singh, while the Congress was aiming to stage a comeback after being in the opposition for 15 years.
2. In the Akaltara seat, Ajit Jogi's daughter-in-law Richa Jogi (BSP) was likely to give a tough fight to Saurabh Singh (BJP) and incumbent MLA Chunnilal Sahu (Congress).
3. The Congress raised farmers' issues during the poll campaign and promised them loan waiver, bonus on paddy procurement and setting up food processing unit if it wins the election
4. Counting for all the 90 seats started at 8 am at the district headquarters.
5. The state had recorded 76.60 per cent voter turnout.