Chhattisgarh went to polls in two phases, on 7 and 17 November, pitting the incumbent Congress government of Bhupesh Baghel against the Bharatiya Janata Party—which just had its first complete term in opposition in the state—and other significant regional players such as the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh, the Gondwana Ganatantra Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Hamar Raj Party and the communist parties. With 90 constituencies in 33 districts, seeing 1,181 candidates face off for the approval of more than 20.3 million voters, elections in Chhattisgarh are a complicated affair. Here, The Caravan breaks down the key parties, regions, candidates and constituencies of the polls.
Chhattisgarh, which was formed in November 2000, has among the most straightforward electoral histories of India’s states. In its first three elections, in 2003, 2008 and 2013, the BJP consistently won around fifty seats, while the Congress won between 37 and 39 seats. Smaller parties, such as the BSP and the communist parties, won a handful of seats as well.