Raipur: Congress' efforts to generate a sympathy wave in the aftermath of deadly Maoist attack that killed its senior party leaders earlier this year seems to have evoked a mixed response in Bastar, even as the opposition delivered a crippling blow to BJP in the Naxal-infested region.
It seems voters in the region had factors like anti-incumbency, law and order situation etc. weighing on their mind, besides the "sympathy wave", in rejecting the ruling party, Congress sources said.
Of the 12 seats in the region, Congress wrested eight seats from BJP.
Congress pocketed Konta, Dantewada, Chitrakot, Bastar, Kanker, Bhanupratappur, Keshkal and Kondagaon constituencies restricting BJP at four seats.
BJP had clean swept the Bastar region, winning 11 out of 12 seats, in 2008 elections.
"Congress owes its stellar performance in the region to various factors including anti-incumbency wave and not only the sympathy wave", a party leader said.
Sitting Congress MLA from Konta, Kawasi Lakhma has defeated BJP's Dhaniram Barse from his home turf by 5786 votes.
In Dantewada (ST) constituency, tribal leader Mahendra Karma's wife Devti Karma, wrested the seat from BJP's Bheema Mandavi, trouncing him by a margin of 5987 votes in a multi-pronged contest.
Congress nominees Deepak Baij (Chitrakot) and Lakheshwar Baghel (Bastar) trounced sitting BJP MLAs Baiduram Kashyap and Subhau Kashyap by a margin of 12,329 votes and 19, 168 votes, respectively.
Similarly, Santram Netam of Congress made sitting BJP legislator Sewakram Netam bite the dust bya margin of 8689 votes in Keshkal seat, while Shankar Dhruva of Congress tamed Sanjay Kodopi of BJP from Kanker by 4,625 votes.
Manoj Singh Mandavi, a close aide of former chief minister Ajit Jogi, wrested Bhanupratappur seat from Satish Latiya of BJP by 4625 votes.
However, BJP managed to win four seats in the region saving itself from the total rout.