Despite exit polls predicting a tight contest, including a hung Assembly and even a narrow victory for the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is heading towards a landslide victory in Madhya Pradesh. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI) website numbers, BJP leads in 165 out of the 230 Assembly seats as of 5 pm, while the Congress is leading at 64 seats. Celebrations began at the BJP headquarters in Bhopal as early as 11 am, after the first few rounds of counting showed the party registering a massive lead.
Expressing his happiness on the party’s leads, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan posted a message on social media and congratulated party leaders. “I am confident that with the blessings of the people and the able leadership of respected PM Modi, the BJP is going to form the government again with full majority. Hearty congratulations to all the candidates of BJP,” Chouhan said.
Chouhan, who contested from the Budhni Assembly constituency, is cruising towards victory with a vote margin of 1,04,974 votes against Congress candidate Vikram Mastal Sharma.
Chauhan also praised the BJP’s ‘double engine’ approach for this massive victory. “The reason for this (win for the BJP) is the double-engine government and the welfare schemes. These touched the hearts of voters…,” he said.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Kamal Nath, is also leading in his constituency in Chhindwara, with a margin of 31,610 votes, against BJP candidate Vivek Bunty Sahu.
"We accept the decision of voters of Madhya Pradesh in this contest for democracy. I congratulate BJP and hope that they will live up to the support people have given them," says senior Congress leader Kamal Nath
The BJP’s victory also suggests that fielding Union Ministers and MPs as candidates in the Assembly polls to counter anti-incumbency have worked well in garnering the support of the voters.
BJP’s Tulsiram Silawat, who is a close associate of Jyotiraditya Scindia and had jumped from the Congress to the BJP in 2020 along with Scindia, is also inching towards victory with a margin of 52,856 votes against Congress candidate Reena Bourasi Didi.
In 2018 Assembly polls, the Congress secured a narrow victory by bagging 114 of the total 229 seats they contested from and secured a total vote share of 40.89%. Meanwhile, the BJP fell short of the majority, securing 109 seats with a total vote share of 41.02%.
While both the BJP and Congress fell short of the magic number of 115 seats, the Congress, led by Kamal Nath, managed to form the government with support from independents.
However, in March 2020, the Kamal Nath government collapsed after MLAs close to Jyotiraditya Scindia left the Congress to join the BJP following a rift with Kamal Nath.