With the completion of the seventh and final phase of voting on Sunday in seven states and one union territory of India, the polling in the all-important 2019 Lok Sabha polls - the largest exercise in democratic franchise anywhere in the world - has officially come to an end. With an estimated 900 million citizens voting in thousands of polling booths in every corner of the country, what remains now is the final vote-counting which will encapsulate the results of 39 days of voting and determine the composition of the 17th Lok Sabha, and onwards from there, the next government of India. However, before that moment of truth on May 23, the Republic Media Network has broadcast India's biggest exit poll - the mega double exit poll in collaboration with the country's top pollsters Jan Ki Baat and CVoter.
After conducting extensive on-ground surveys all across the country following each of the seven phases of the 2019 polls, the double Republic Exit Poll presents a projection of how the seat-shares and vote-shares could turn out for each of the states and union territories of India, and put together, project whether the BJP and NDA will be able to repeat their historic mandate of 2014 and conversely, whether the Congress, UPA will be able to make a fightback from reaching a historic low.
Polling in Chhattisgarh which sends 11 Lok Sabha members to the Parliament was held in the first three phases of the polls on April 11, 18 and 23. While Chhattisgarh had been BJP's bastion for approximately 15 years, Congress party swept the state in the 2018 Assembly elections. This elections in Chhattisgarh revolved around the issues related to the escalating tension due to Maoists and farmers welfare policies under the newly-formed Congress government-led by CM Bhupesh Baghel.
In the 2019 polls, while the Congress is looking forward to retaining the momentum from the assembly polls, the BJP is aiming to topple the Congress vote-share by highlighting the welfare policies initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won massive victory with 10 out of 11 seats in Chhattisgarh, while Congress was left to one seat which is Durg.
As per Jan Ki Baat projections, there is a neck-to-neck contest between BJP and Congress with the Rahul Gandhi-led Grand Old Party taking the lead as per the estimated projections.
As per CVoter projections (till 4 pm), cut-throat competition is predicted between the NDA and the UPA with 6 and 5 seats respectively. As per the vote-share predictions, UPA is predicted to win 38.3% votes, while NDA is projected to gain an overwhelming 50.8% vote-share in the 2019 polls. 'Others' are predicted to manage 10.9% vote-share.
Key candidates from Chhattisgarh in the fray for the 2019 Parliamentary elections:
Current Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel, former CM and BJP leader Raman Singh, former minister and BJP leader: Brijmohan Agarwal, Janata Congress chief, former CM Ajit Jogi, Congress leader and home minister Tamradhwaj Sahu.
Here's how Chhattisgarh voted in the last three elections in the state: