Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections saw the Congress back in the saddle. The grand old party won 114 seats, just 2 short of majority. However, with the BSP, the RLD and the SP extending support to the Congress, forming the government will not be difficult.
A single phase election for the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly was held on November 28, 2018. The result came out along with that of four other states: Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram. There are 230+1 (nominated) assembly constituencies in the state ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Indian National Congress (Congress or INC) was the main Opposition in the state. Shivraj Singh Chouhan had been the Chief Minister of the state since December 12, 2008. Before him, Uma Bharti and Babulal Gaur served the state as BJP chief ministers for a short while. Chouhan has won two successive elections, keeping him in power for more than 12 years.
Congress party's Digvijaya Singh also served two full terms as the Chief Minister, from 1998 to 2003. Since 2003, the BJP has maintained a stable government.
With Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia leading the charge, the Congress made a comeback counting on the massive anti-incumbency factor against the Chouhan government. In the current Lok Sabha, the BJP holds 28 seats from Madhya Pradesh against Congress' three. For both the BJP and the Congress, Madhya Pradesh is a crucial state to gain strength in the Lok Sabha.
Various opinion polls had projected a neck-and-neck battle between the BJP and the Congress in the Assembly election. Of the 230 seats, the BJP held 166, the Congress 57, the BSP 4 and Independent one. One member would be nominated, taking the total strength of the House to 231. It was widely speculated that Congress might forge an alliance with Mayawati's BSP as the party has some vote share in the state. But the attempt failed, giving some advantage to the BJP. For the BJP, Chouhan had been an undisputed leader in the state and a victory this time would have made him one of the tallest leaders in the BJP. This win would provide the Congress the much-needed ammunition to take on the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha General Elections.