'People were angry with Bhupesh Baghel': Former CM Raman Singh

He says voters found trust when Modi's name was associated


Exclusive Interview/ Raman Singh, former chief minister, Chhattisgarh

Q/ What is the biggest factor behind the BJP's record victory?

A/ The biggest issue was corruption and the scam-ridden rule of Bhupesh Baghel that saw liquor, coal, public service commission recruitment, Mahadev app and even gauthan (cow shelter) scams. The Congress failed to keep major electoral promises of 2018 like the liquor ban that brought it women’s votes, unemployment allowance for 10 lakh youth and regularisation of two lakh employees.

Q/ Prime Minister Modi also worked his magic?

A/ Modiji’s guarantee was a major factor. The party manifesto included impressive promises and Modiji’s guarantees lent credence to those... People found trust when his name was associated.

Q/ What does the poll debacle mean for the Congress?

A/ [Look at the way] Bhupesh (Baghel) behaved and his attitude. I think [former chief minister late Ajit] Jogi’s behaviour had sent the Congress out of power for 15 years. The way people are angry with Bhupesh, they will not bring back the Congress for a long time now.

Q/ Did the big win come as a surprise to you?

A/ No. It was the media that got it wrong. We were working at the booth level for the past six to eight months and we were confident, though the media could not evaluate the work being done on the ground. We knew that there was huge anger among people and it would translate into votes for us. I had always been saying that the BJP will win 52-55 seats and it came true.