The Congress appeared to be heading for a landslide victory on Tuesday in Chhattisgarh, Election Commission officials said, dealing a major blow to the ruling BJP.
After the first round of voting, Congress candidates were ahead of their rivals in 61 of the 90 seats in the battle for an Assembly where the half-way mark is 46.
BJP candidates were ahead in 21 constituencies. While Chief Minister Raman Singh managed to reverse the trend after initially trailing the Congress, all his cabinet Ministers were way behind their rivals.
The alliance of Janta Congress Chhattisgarh of former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi and the Bahujan Samaj Party were leading in seven constituencies.
In the outgoing Assembly, the BJP had 49 members and the Congress 39. The BJP has ruled Chhattisgarh since 2003.
Polling for 90 seats in the state took place in two phases on November 12 and November 20, 2018. The state had recorded 76.60% voter turnout in the elections.
The exit polls had predicted a neck-and-neck contest between the Congress and the BJP, which could break Raman Singhâ€™s three-time consecutive winning streak.
While Republic-C voter predicted that the BJP would win around 35 to 43 seats and the Congress around 40 to 50 seats, News Nation predicted that the BJP would get around 38 to 42 seats while Congress would finish with around 40 to 44 seats.
According to a report by Business Today, Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Sunday ruled out the possibility of a hung assembly. He said BJP would retain power again and form a government on its own for the fourth term.
"The situation of a hung assembly will not arise. BJP will form the government with a majority. I am confident that the BJP will form the government for the fourth time without anyone's support," said Raman Singh.
With IANS inputs