The stakes are high for the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party in the assembly constituency of Bilha, a part of Bilaspur district. For the state president Dharam Lal Kaushik the BJP nominee,All is not merry in his home town though he wears a buoyant attitude in the public gatherings. Riding on his back are many elements which may dent the party’s vote share, prime among them is lack of any notable development deep into the heart of Bilha. Main roads connectivity are in good shape but entering deeper into the region one can see the sorry state of roads and drainage,the plight of the existing village roads cannot be overlooked and basic infrastructure is at a very modest level, anti incumbency is always a concern that cannot be ignored either.
Now the political arithmetic that ensues hereafter is quite interesting and may be BJP can just pull the strings to their advantage. One of the strongest contender is Siya Ram Kaushik, the sitting legislator from Janta Congress Chhattisgarh who defected from the Congress. He defeated Dharamlal in 2003 and 2013 by 6551 and 10963 votes respectively, 2008 was a triumphant year for BJP where Dharamlal won against him by 6070 votes.
This direct political tug of war between the Congress and BJP had in the past showed that upper hand of the former was an acceptable truth. As early as 1967,undivided Madhya Pradesh saw Congress’s Chitrakant Jaiswal win this seat five times in a row till 1985 with only 1990 an exception,Ashok Rao of Janta Dal defeated Jaiswal by 7935 votes in the 90s election.With Jaiswal joining the Congress , he defeated a young Dharamlal Kaushik of the BJP by a meagre 187 votes in 1993. Dharamlal’s growing momentum overthrew Jaiswal in the 1998 poles by a gigantic margin of 10342 votes. History thus reveals that this old Congress fortress is now headed for a triangular contest.
Favouring BJP is the Ambika Sahu factor, a disgruntled Congress leader who is going all alone on an independent ticket consequently sweeping away a large section of votes from the predominant “Sahu” community. Adjoining city areas of Sirgitti industrial estate is a stronghold of BJP where it stays put,Pathariya and Bodsara areas are Scheduled Caste dominant thereby favouring Siya Ram and the mighty stature of Ajit Jogi backing him all out puts him in a comfortable zone in this region. Territories with proximity to Mungeli which also touches the city limits is influenced by Rajendra Shukla,the congress candidate and also the previous district party president. Under these circumstances if BJP manages to hold it’s ground without increasing its vote share there is still a possibility for the party to win or else a triangular fight is imminent.
None can predict the exact scenario post December 12 but the odds are pitted against the BJP state president with two other political adversaries breathing down his neck.