Madhya Pradesh election result: Can Congress upset Shivraj Singh Chouhan to end 15-year hiatus?

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New Delhi | Updated: December 10, 2018 11:40 AM

Madhya Pradesh election result: In the 2013 assembly polls, BJP had won 165 seats while the Congress bagged 58, BSP 4 and Independent candidates three.

Madhya pradesh election result: Will PM Narendra Modi and CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan be smiling like this on December 11?

Madhya Pradesh election result: The much-awaited results for Madhya Pradesh assembly polls will be out tomorrow. The real picture may well become clear by the afternoon and with that the hard-fought political tussle between BJP and Congress in Madhya Pradesh will reach its logical conclusion on December 11 when the results to the Assembly elections will be declared.

The exit poll numbers show a very close fight between the ruling saffron party and Congress. CVoter-Republic TV predicts 60-106 seats for the BJP and 110-126 seats for the Congress. Times Now has projected 126 seats for the ruling party, while 89 seats for the Congress. The good news for Rahul Gandhi comes from CSDS-ABP which predicts 126 seats for the Congress, well above the majority mark.

Campaigning from both sides saw vicious attacks based on religion and even raked up the Prime Minister’s caste. The outcome will be crucial for both sides not just for the party’s fortunes for the next five years but also from a national perspective. A win or loss for either side will also have a bearing on the party’s prospects for the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

Madhya Pradesh has traditionally witnessed bi-partisan politics and has kept faith in the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan for three consecutive terms. The Congress, which has been out of power since 2003, is hoping to ride on the anti-incumbency against the three terms of the current government to return to power. Polling for 230 assembly seats was held on November 28 and results will be out on December 11.

READ Also: Assembly Elections Exit Poll 2018 Results 

Lok Sabha elections 2014 and 2013 Madhya Pradesh election results

In the 2013 assembly polls, BJP had won 165 seats while the Congress bagged 58, BSP 4 and Independent candidates three. The BJP repeated its stellar run in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 as well, bagging 27 Lok Sabha seats out of 29 reducing Congress to just two constituencies. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had won 16 seats while the Congress emerged victorious on 12 and BSP on one.

Anti-incumbency, agrarian distress and more

The burden of being in power for 15 years has been haunting BJP as Congress has looked to capitalize on the anti-incumbency factor. Congress is banking on factors like an agrarian crisis, unemployment and corruption to ride to victory. Apart from these, Congress leaders have also raked up issues like demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) to target the BJP. Farm distress is one factor that BJP should be worried about especially after Mandsaur violence last year. Congress has promised that it would waive off Rs 2 lakh farm loan if it is elected to power.

There were reports that voters belong to upper caste were also not happy because of changes in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. However, Chouhan has categorically said that he won’t allow the misuse of the Act in the state asserting that no arrests would be made without investigation.

The BJP has banked on projecting Chauhan as an agent of development against the misrule of the Congress. BJP has highlighted the social welfare schemes introduced by the government over the last 15 years. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that unlike Congress’ tenure in the state, elections won’t be fought on issues such as roads, electricity and water this time. BJP has claimed that Chouhan has successfully managed to change the backward tag for the state to become an “aspirational one”.

Leadership crisis

Another crucial factor may be lack of decisive leadership in Congress. BJP has mocked Congress’ decision of not announcing a Chief Ministerial candidate saying it is due to factionalism in the century-old party. There were reports that senior Congress leader and former MP CM Digvijaya Singh and party’s young face Jyotiraditya Scindia engaged in a public spat over seat distribution. However, Scindia later clarified that none of it was true.

Yet, the Congress’ decision to not name its CM candidate is seen as an attempt to keep its house in order and its leaders intact. On ground reports suggest that the Congress has run what was its most aggressive campaign in the state in decades ahead of assembly elections this time around. It was imperative that the Congress put up a united face and decide on its leader following the poll outcome.

From the psephology point of view, Madhya Pradesh witnessed a 75.05 per cent voter turnout on November 28 polling day. Data shows that there has been an increase of 2.53 per cent in voter turnout from the previous election. While BJP is claiming that this would go in their favour, Congress is pinning its hopes that these extra votes will prove to be the swing that they are looking for.

Opinion Polls

According to ABP-CVoter analysis, Congress is likely to get 122 seats, BJP will bag 108 seats. As per Times Now Opinion poll, Congress may get 77, BJP is likely to form the government with 142 and Others to get 11. As per News Nation, the situation is likely to get very tight after the announcement of the results. Congress is likely to get 107-111 seats, BJP will get 109-113 seats and others will get 12 assembly seats.

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