To listen click here
Bhopal, June 18 – The BJP and the Congress are all set for a cut-throat battle in Madhya Pradesh as merely five months are left for the Assembly polls in the state.
With the two national parties in a direct contest, the state is likely to see a high-voltage poll campaigning like Karnataka. It is also because the outcome of the Assembly elections will be crucial in terms of Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in 2024
In 2019, the ruling BJP won 28 out of total 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Divided into six divisions (region and geography wise), the state has political stalwarts such as Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Kantilal Bhuria, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Rajendra Shukla, and Narendra Singh Tomar have a strong influence in their respective regions and castes.
More or less, each of these politicians has a strong dominance in Madhya Pradesh’s politics.
For instance, in the 2018 Assembly elections, the BJP won 24 out of 30 seats in the Vidhya region. Two-time former minister and Rewa MLA Rajendra Shukla had a crucial role in the elections, however, he could not secure a place for himself in Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet. The saffron party has won all eight seats in the Rewa district.
Though the Congress had witnessed a major setback in the Vidhya region in 2018, it smartly utilised the sentiments of voters in the region and won the Mayoral post of Rewa after 30 years.
Rajendra Singh, a senior Congress leader from Satna claimed, “There will be a close contest in the Vindhya region, and the Congress would win 10-12 seats, as per the present scenario.”
In the Gwalior-Chambal region, the bastion of two Union Ministers – Jyotiraditya Scindia and Narendra Singh Tomar, the Congress won 27 out of 34 Assembly seats in 2018. Scindia was with Congress then. However, he and his 22 loyalist MLAs defected to the BJP, toppling the Kamal Nath-led Congress government.
Recently, Narendra Singh Tomar while chairing a meeting of district party workers in Morena claimed that he and Scindia are working together to ensure that the BJP would win at least 26 seats this year in the Gwalior-Chambal region. “We will win at least 26 in the Gwalior-Chambal region and the BJP will come back to power with full majority,” Tomar said.
Similarly, in the Mahakaushal region, the Congress’ performance was outstanding. The grand old party secured 24 out of the total 38 seats in the 2018 Assembly polls. The region comprises Jabalpur and Chhindwara, which is the bastion of former Chief Minister and state Congress president Kamal Nath.
The Mahakaushal region has as many as 15 Scheduled Tribe reserve seats in eight districts. The Congress bagged 13 of them, while the BJP won the remaining two seats in the 2018 polls. This is the reason why Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi kickstarted the party’s poll campaign from Jabalpur, while two days before, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan released the first instalment of the ‘Ladli Behna Yojana’ from there.
Malwa and Nimar region, which has two big cities of the state – Indore and Ujjain, has a total of 66 seats, of which, the Congress bagged 35 in 2018 (11 out of 29 seats in Ujjain division, and 24 out of 37 in Indore division).
Bhopal division, which includes Raisen, Vidisha and Sehore – home district of Chief Minister Chouhan, has 25 assembly seats, 17 of them are with the BJP while eight are with the Congress, including three in Bhopal district. Similarly, the Hoshangabad, which was renamed Narmadapuram last year, has a total of 11 assembly seats, the ruling BJP bagged seven of them, and the remaining four were secured by the Congress.
Notably, Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly has a total strength of 230 members, and in the last elections in 2018 – the Congress won 114, while the BJP bagged 109 seats.