Bhopal, The contest is getting rather interesting in Madhya Pradesh with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the principal-opposition Congress both leading in 110 constituencies each at 1400 hrs even as counting of Assembly poll votes continued on Tuesday.
The Bahujan Samaj Party’s 'elephant' is plodding ahead in three places while the Samajwadi Party is 'cycling' successfully only in one. Others, including independents, are dominating six constituencies. Results are expected by evening and introspection has already commenced in the saffron and Congress camps over the possible equations.
Numerous ministers of the BJP - which has been in the saddle for one-and-a-half decades - are trailing and they include Dr Narottam Mishra, Mr Rustam Singh, Mr Rampal Singh, Mr Antarsingh Arya, Mr Jayant Malaiya, Ms Archana Chitnis and Mr Lalsingh Arya.
In Budhni, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is leading by a margin exceeding 20,000 over his nearest Congress rival Arun Yadav who served as his party’s state President. In 2013, Mr Chouhan emerged victorious by more than 84,000 votes.
The Vidhan Sabha’s Leader of the Opposition Ajay Singh is trailing in his family bastion Churhat against Mr Sharadendu Tiwari (BJP).
Postal ballots were counted first for 230 seats and electronic voting machines taken up later, sources at the Chief Electoral Officer’s workplace said. Counting of votes cast on November 28 commenced on Tuesday morning at all district headquarters amid heavy security bandobast. The official time for commencement of the process was 0800 hrs.
A total 75.05 per cent of an electorate exceeding five crore exercised their franchise to determine the fortunes of 2,899 candidates. The BJP is contesting all 230 seats, the Congress 229, the BSP 227 and the Aam Aadmi Party 208.This time it has been decided to provide certificates to nominees after each round of counting. Only returning officers and observers are being permitted to carry cellular phones into the counting centres.
The Congress ruled for a decade from 1993 but was ousted by the BJP’s historic victory in 2003. In 2013, the saffron party surged to power for a third successive time by winning 165 constituencies whereas the Congress was restricted to 58.