During the previous elections in 2008 and 2013; the vote share gained by the Congress and BJP was almost similar. Congress garnered around forty percent of the total votes cast in Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections In 2008; during the 2013 elections, they maintained their share of total votes cast though they increased it by a narrow margin.
In contrast, the BJP won by a narrow margin of about two percent in 2008; they were able to gather about forty-two percent of the total votes cast. During the 2013 elections, the party won with a forty-one percent total of votes tallied. Therefore based on these previous results; it seems that the contest is a tough and a close one.
However, the margin can widen because there is a third viable candidate, Ajit Jogi who is the former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh. Jogi departed the Congress party in June 2016 to run his party; the Janata Congress is expected to take a significant share of the Congress votes. This will be a big boost that will help the BJP increase the margin and win the elections.
Key Players: Being the incumbent Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh for fourteen years, Raman Singh has a huge probability of retaining his position. He is also running in the 2018 Elections on the development plan which is a smart move since the voters can decide based on his achievements.
Power supply to every part of the state for 24 hours, additional benefit on the distribution of tendu leaf is given out to win the support of the tribal electorate. Extra benefits of paddy procurement are also given and prove to be an essential campaign policy in the upcoming elections. This makes the BJP a favorite candidate to win the forthcoming elections.
In addition, Raman Singh has done a lot for the people of Chhattisgarh. This has increased his popularity as a politician and gives him an upper hand when he seeks votes from the people.
Ajit Jogi is still popular and has thousands of followers; this is not very good for the Congress candidates since the former congressman is way ahead from the Congress candidates T S Singh Deo and Bhupesh Baghel.
Ajit Jogi also commands strong voters support in Marwahi region. He has a great possibility in the upcoming elections since his party has gained several supporters including former MPs. In addition, those who fail to get Congress and BJP tickets are expected to join his party.
Therefore it is either Ajit Jogi or Raman Singh who have a viable chance of becoming the next CM of Chhattisgarh in the 2018 polls.