MP election: The stage is set for polling in Madhya Pradesh across all 230 constituencies on November 28 (Wednesday) to elect a new government.
MP election: The stage is set for polling in Madhya Pradesh across all 230 constituencies on November 28 (Wednesday) to elect a new government. According to the Election Commission, a total of 11,421 new polling booths have been set up in the state for the smooth conduct of elections, a 21% rise since the last assembly election. Data shows that polling will be held over 65,000 booths in all. CEO VL Kantha Rao informed that in the previous assembly polls held in 2013, the total polling booths in the state were about 53,000.
Polling will be held between 8 am and 5 pm. A total of over 5 crore voters will be eligible to exercise their franchise. This includes 2,63,01,300 men, 2,41,30,390 women and 1,389 third gender.
MP election: BJP vs Congress
In Madhya Pradesh, the contest is mainly between the ruling BJP and Congress. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati and Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav are also in the fray. The EC data show that as many as 2,907 candidates are in the fray this time. While the BJP has fielded candidates across all the 230 seats, the Congress has fielded 229 candidates, leaving one seat for Sharad Yadav’s party. The BSP has fielded 227 candidates and SP is trying its luck in 51 seats. A total of 1,102 independent candidates are also in the fray.
The BJP fielded star campaigners like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several Union ministers including Smriti Irani, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley to campaign in the state. The Congress’ campaign was led by its president Rahul Gandhi. Rallies by both top leaders saw an exchange of barbs in the course of the campaign.
While the BJP raked up issues like rampant corruption under Congress rule and dynastic politics, the Congress targeted the BJP over issues like demonetisation, Rafale and GST. BJP’s national president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also campaigned extensively in the state to seek votes in favour of Shivraj Singh Chouhan who is seeking the fourth consecutive term in the office. The BJP is also banking heavily on the works done by Chouhan government and party’s organisational structure in the state.
Budhni Assembly seat
The keenly watched constituency will be Budhni from where outgoing Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is seeking reelection. The Congress has fielded former Union minister and former Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Arun Yadav against him. The most debated leader during the campaigning was MP’s Congress chief Kamal Nath whose purported video asking Muslims to vote went viral in the last leg of campaigning. This came as an ammunition to the BJP fire at the Congress.
According to Times Now-CNX opinion poll, the BJP likely to get around 130 seats, thus putting it in a comfortable situation to form the government again.
BJP, Congress manifesto
In their manifesto, the Congress has promised farm loan waiver within 10 days of the government. The party also promised to set up gaushalas (cowshed) in every gram panchayat. Also, it has said that the Shakhas of RSS will not be allowed at government offices and rules to allow government servants to participate in such events will be abolished. The BJP, on the other hand, has promised 10 lakh jobs, bonus to small farmers, two-wheelers to meritorious girls and constructing Bhopal-Indore, Gwalior-Chambal and Narmada expressway.
In the previous Assembly polls held in 2013, the BJP had won 165 seats, Congress 55 seats and BSP 4 seats. The BJP is ruling the state since 2003 with Shivraj Singh sitting at the helm of party’s affair.