Congress Com-pain Too Scare on OBC Votes :
Summing up the Congress strategy, a party leader from Chhattisgarh on condition of anonymity said the party is eyeing OBC votes. In the last elections, the Congress excelled in tribal dominated Bastar & Sarguja, while the BJP swept the SC seats and also took lead in plains where the OBCs are dominant,
Out of power since 2003, primarily due to erosion in its traditional tribal vote bank, the tattered Congress is eyeing to consolidate OBC support to make a desperate comeback to power in Chhattisgarh.
Demographically, the OBCs are the most dominant class in Chhattisgarh with 52% share in state’s population, while 32% tribals too remain a potent force electorally.
The voting pattern in Assembly polls post 2003 too endorses this concern.
In 2003, the BJP, which won 50 out of the 90 seats, managed wins at 34 ST-reserved seats pushing the then Ajit Jogi-led Congress out of power. In 2008, the delimitation reduced ST seats to 29 and again the BJP pocketed 19 of the 29 seats.
The Congress had won 18 but its overall tally ended at measly a 39, not enough to unseat the Raman Singh-led BJP from power.
However, ahead of 2018 Assembly polls, the entry of Ajit Jogi with Janata Congress Chhattisgarh has made it a triangular contest in many seats as Jogi, a former bureaucrat, enjoys sizable backing among Dali-ts and tribals.
His party has already announced Deputy CM posts to leaders from Bastar and Sarguja if it comes to power.