Security Tightened at BJP Office as Party Takes Lead in 17 Seats, Cong in 9; Nath at Cong Bhopal HQ

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Since Tuesday is considered the day of Lord Hanuman, anxious politicians can be seen indulging in intensive praying before the results are out. While Digvijaya Singh tweeted that Lord Hanuman will ensure justice for Kamal Nath, BJP’s Pradhuman Singh Tomar (who joined the saffron party along with Jyotiraditya Scindia) was spotted at Mandsaur’s Hanuman temple and BJP’s Tulsi Ram Silawat was seen running around various temples, beginning with Lord Ganesha’s. Congress’s Gwalior candidate Sunil Sharma was also seen at the same Mandsaur temple early this morning, while former Nath minister PC Sharma also prayed at a temple. Imarti Devi, who hogged the spotlight during campaigning when former MP CM used the word “item” to address her, was seen praying at Gwalior’s Achleshwar Mahadev Temple. A total of 355 candidates, including 12 ministers, are in the fray in these bypolls.

In March this year, the 15-month-old Kamal Nath-led government in the state collapsed following the resignation of 22 rebel Congress MLAs in support of Scindia, after he quit the grand old party. This paved the way for the BJP’s return to power with Chouhan taking oath as the CM for a record fourth time. There is a talk in political circles that Scindia, who became the BJP’s Rajya Sabha member in June this year, is aspiring for a berth in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet.

The Election Commission’s guidelines regarding Covid-19 will be in place so that counting agents do not assemble in large numbers at the counting centres, an official said. A candidate, his poll agent and counting agent can remain present in the counting hall, as per the EC’s instructions. “Results can be displayed from the control unit on a big screen as per the EC’s directives,” the official said. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, a total of 70.27 per cent voter turnout was recorded during the bypolls on November 3 which were contested by 355 candidates, including 12 ministers.

The average voting percentage in the 2018 Assembly polls in these 28 constituencies, most of them in the Gwalior-Chambal region, was 72.93 per cent, the official said. For the first time in Madhya Pradesh, bypolls have been held in as many as 28 Assembly seats in the 230-member House in one go.

The by-elections to 25 of these seats were necessitated as the sitting Congress MLAs resigned and joined the BJP. They contested the bypolls as BJP candidates. In the remaining three Assembly segments, bypolls were held due to demise of the sitting legislators. One more Congress MLA resigned recently. The BJP currently has 107 MLAs, while the Congress has 87 legislators in the House.

With 16 of his close aides in fray in Gwalior-Chambal, Scindia is hoping for maximum victories for his aides to start things on a high note in the Bharatiya Janata Party. As political analysts believe a dismal show could severely affect Scindia’s newly-found clout in MP BJP unit. However, for Shivraj and company and many senior leaders in BJP who hail from Gwalior-Chambal region, a bright show for Scindia in bypolls won’t be a very good news for them.

Though exit polls are suggesting empathic win for BJP but unease is prevailing in both the camps ahead of counting with both the parties accusing each other of engaging in horse trading. To add, both are predicting thumping win.

Shivraj minister Arvind Singh Bhaduaria, the chief architect of the March coup, on Monday told News18 that the BJP government with 107 MLAs and support of seven others including independents, two BSP and one SP MLA, is already in majority. The BJP is also in constant touch with these seven MLAs and some Congressmen as well.

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