Raipur: Counting of votes for Chhattisgarh Assembly elections would be held today. The results come in the backdrop of exit polls which had predicted a neck and neck fight between the Congress and the BJP.

The state went to polls in two phases; on November 12 and 20. In the first phase, 18 Assembly constituencies that come under 12 districts of Maoist-affected South Chhattisgarh went to polls, while in phase 2, voting was held in 72 of the remaining 78 districts of north Chhattisgarh on November 20. The elections have seen a tough contest between the BJP and the Congress, among other regional parties. The term of the 90-member Assembly concludes on January 5.

In the 90-member assembly, the majority mark is 46. While Times Now-CNX gave a simple majority to the BJP and the ABP said the saffron party would fare way better than the Congress, India-Today Axis predicted that the Congress would end Chief Minister Raman Singh’s 15-year-old reign by winning anywhere between 55-65 seats. Maha Exit Poll predicted 42 for the BJP, 43 seats for the Congress and 5 for Others.

All the exit polls agreed that former chief minister Ajit Jogi’s Janta Congress Chhattisgarh and the BSP may get to play the kingmaker in case of a hung Assembly.

Campaigning in the state for the BJP, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had sought to establish a connection with the largely tribal voters by saying that Hanuman was one of the most prominent tribals, kicking up a political storm. He had said, “Hunuman sabse bade adivasi hain, vanvasi hain…(Hanuman is the most prominent tribal).” Reiterating that the state was the ‘nanihal’ (mother’s hometown) of Ram, he said, “On vanvaas (exile), Lord Ram helped the tribals against the demons. Just like Ram did in Treta Yug, the BJP is aiming to bring Ram Rajya in the state.”