New Delhi: The BJP and the Congress are in a close fight in Madhya Pradesh as trends in 226 out of the total 230 Assembly seats showed the opposition party having a slight edge over the ruling faction.
The Congress was leading in 110 seats while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ahead in 108 constituencies.
Besides, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was leading in four seats, while the Samajwadi Party was ahead in one. Independents were also leading in two seats in the central Indian state.
Today’s results will decide whether Shivraj Singh Chouhan continues to be chief minister for the fourth straight time or an upbeat Congress returns to power after a 15-year-gap.
Exit polls have predicted a neck-and-neck fight between the BJP and the opposition Congress, but leaders from both the parties have claimed to emerge victorious.
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While most exit polls predicted a slide in the BJP’s fortunes, some of them have gone to the extent of giving a clear majority to the Congress.
The Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat poll has predicted BJP will win 108-128 seats and the Congress 95-115. The India Today-Axis poll gave 102-120 seats to the ruling party and 104-122 to the Congress.
Times Now-CNX predicted a majority for the BJP with 126 seats and gave 89 to the Congress.
In contrast, the ABP News poll gave the Congress a decisive win with 126 seats and said the BJP would win 94 Assembly constituencies.
In Madhya Pradesh, the contest looks tight as the anti-incumbency is a big factor in the state with the Congress consistently doing well in the by-elections held in the last year-and-a half.
The BJP had in 2013 secured a 44.88 per cent vote share to Congress’s 36.38. A key statistic again here is that the BSP had bagged 6.29 per cent vote share. The BSP could prove to be a game-changer if it holds onto its clout.
Madhya Pradesh has also had its share of twists with several switching of camps by various leaders. Among the notable switches, Sanjay Singh Masani, the brother-in-law of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and senior BJP leader Sartaj Singh joined the Congress, while Premchand Guddu, a Dalit leader, joined the BJP.
The BJP fielded candidates for all 230 seats while the Congress fielded 229 nominees and left one seat (Jatara in Tikamgarh district) for its ally Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) of Sharad Yadav.
Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) fielded 227 candidates, while the Samajwadi Party (SP) contested 51 seats.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also fielded 208 candidates in its maiden elections in Madhya Pradesh.
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