Congress is looking to unseat the BJP from power in the state as Shivraj Singh Chouhan battles to retain power in the state. As many as 2,533 candidates are in contention for Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly election, including political bigwigs like Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his predecessor and rival Kamal Nath.
Despite a boycott call by the Maoists, villagers in Naxal-infested Bastar of Chhattisgarh turned out to vote in large numbers.
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Madhya Pradesh recorded a voter turnout of 76.22 percent in this election which is slightly more than voter turnout of 2018 recorded at 74.97 percent.
Chouhan will also be upbeat after the exit polls have predicted his chances of forming government in the state.
On the other hand, Congress is looking to unseat the BJP from power in Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
All eyes would be on CM Chouhan’s Budhni assembly constituency, known to be his stronghold.
In Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly out of the 230 seats, 47 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes and 35 for Scheduled Castes.
Besides, CM Chauhan and Kamal Nath, there are also other bigwigs in the fray including three Union Ministers including Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste.
Congress leader Kamal Nath has asked his party workers to not get "distracted" by exit polls.
"Many exit polls have shown Congress party forming the government while some exit polls are saying otherwise. You don't want to let all this distract you," Nath said.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh has also said, "Exit poll results are very diverse. We cannot say anything about it. I can assure you that the Congress will get more than 130 seats in Madhya Pradesh...People want transformation. People are fed up with CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan."
There is a close fight between the BJP and Congress in Madhya Pradesh as both parties are looking to outclass each other.
Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath held a meeting at party office in Bhopal as counting of votes in the state is underway.
"The BJP has received the blessings of people. Under PM Modi and CM (Shivraj Singh Chouhan), our government has brought an all-out development to the state," says Madhya Pradesh BJP president VD Sharma.
"There are very initial trends, but the indications are good for Congress," said Congress leader Vivek Tankha on Madhya Pradesh polls.
As counting of votes is underway in Madhya Pradesh, Congress state president Kamal Nath said: "I have not seen the trends yet, but I have faith in the people of Madhya Pradesh."
The BJP is leading for now in Madhya Pradesh with 26 seats, while the Congress leading in 18.
"People are with the Congress and we are very confident. The Congress will soon take a lead and we will form the government (in Madhya Pradesh)," said Congress leader Abbas Hafeez.
As the counting is underway in 230 seats of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the early trends showed Congress extending its lead in 7 seats and the BJP in 4.
Veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said: "I have said it before and I will say it again, we will win more than 130 seats (in Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls)."
The counting of votes began on Sunday in 230 Assembly Constituencies of Madhya Pradesh as BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan looks to retain power in the state.
BJP leader Rampal Singh after arriving at a counting centre in Madhya Pradesh's Raisen said: "It is for sure that the BJP will win (Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls) with a huge margin."
Congratulatory banners for the Congress candidates have been put up outside the state party office in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal.
Madhya Pradesh minister and BJP leader Narottam Mishra said: " We will win 125-150 seats in the state. BJP will form govt in the state. It is a matter of a few hours now."
Madhya Pradesh minister and BJP leader Vishvas Kailash Sarang said: "There is no merit in Congress's claims. We will form the government with a massive majority".
"With the blessings of Baba Mahakal, the 'jungle raaj' in Madhya Pradesh will end this time, and a Kamal Nath-led Congress government will be formed in the state," said Congress leader Mahesh Parmar after offering prayers at Mahakal Temple in Ujjain.
Congress leader Jitu Patwari said:"...The kind of 'Tandav' the BJP had created by tearing apart the dignity of democracy, created a market of MLAs the country has seen. After all these circumstances, people have suffered the pain of inflation, unemployment, and diseases...The kind of chaos they have created in the country is about to end..."
"(Counting) officials will not be allowed to take betel leaf, cigarette, tobacco, lighter or even mobile phones inside. Strict checking is underway, and everything is under control," said Mahavir Prasad Munjal, Additional SP Bhopal.
The Old Central Jail in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal is the counting centre for the state's Assembly Elections in 2023.
All eyes of Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s constituency—Budhni, considered to be his stronghold. Chauhan will hope to win again from his bastion and lead the BJP to victory in the state once again.
The counting for 230 Assembly Constituencies of Madhya Pradesh is scheduled to take place on Sunday with BJP under leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan hoping to accede to the throne of the state again, while Congress will hope to wrestle away it from the saffron party.