Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava/Hemant Abhishek
Bhopal: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan romped home to a triumphant victory on Sunday as results for 230-assembly seat showed the BJP returning to power for the third consecutive five-year term.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 165 seats, zooming past the half-way mark in the 230-member assembly and ensuring a third term as chief minister for the soft spoken Chouhan.
The Congress was a distant second, bagging only 58 seats. Others emerged victorious in seven places.
Among other results, Manoj Kumar Agrawal of Congress won from Kotama constituency by 1,546 votes defeating BJP`s Rajesh Soni, Ramlal Rautel of BJP won from Anuppur seat by a margin of 11,745 votes defeating his nearest Congress rival Bisahulal Singh, Phundelal Singh Marko (Congress) won from Pushprajgarh constituency by a huge margin of 35,647, defeating Sudama Singh Singram (BJP).
Sita Sharan Sharma of BJP defeated Ravi Kishor Jaiswal (Congress) by 49,296 votes from Hoshangabad seat.
Buoyed by the results, Chief Minister Chouhan today thanked the people of his state for helping his party retain power for a record third time in the crucial assembly elections held here.
Addressing a press conference in Bhopal, Chouhan said, "People of MP have showered their love and blessings to BJP for the 3rd time, I am highly grateful to them."
"It is a victory of the people of MP, our organisation, party`s ideology and our workers, " Chouhan said while adding, "We will leave no stone unturned for the development of Madhya Pradesh."
Chouhan also thanked the BJP central leadership, including LK Advani, Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, pary chief Rajnath Singh, party in-charge of MP Anant Kumar and others for their support and guidance.
While Chouhan promised to work round-the-clock for development of his state, Congress` Jyotiraditya Scindia said, "I am very disappointed over MP polls results. These results are a wake-up call for all senior leaders of the party. There is need for introspection in party."
Riding high on a pro-incumbency factor, the Chief Minister defeated his Congress rival Shashank Bhargava in Vidisha by 16,966 votes.
The Chief Minister is also leading in Budhni Assembly constituency by 12,777 votes over his Congress rival Mahendra Singh Chouhan.
Chouhan, a sitting MLA from Budhni had represented Vidisha five times in the Lok Sabha. Big celebrations began outside Chief Minister`s residence where excited BJP workers burst fire crackers, beat drums, distributed sweets and waved their party flag, celebrating the foregone poll success.
Sitting BJP MLA Surendra Patwa won Bhojpur seat by defeated former Union minister Suresh Pachouri.
Patwa trounced Pachouri by a margin of 20,149 votes. While Patwa polled 80,491 votes, Pachouri got 60,342 votes.
BJP`s Yashodhara Raje Scindia won from Shivpuri seat by a margin of 11,145 votes by defeating her nearest rival Birendra Singh of Congress.
BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya won from Mhow, posting his sixth straight victory in Assembly elections. He defeated Antarsingh Darbar of Congress by 12,216 votes. Vijayvargiya, who currently holds industry portfolio, bagged 89,848 votes as against 77,632 secured by his nearest rival.
Besides Chouhan, other prominent candidates from the BJP whose fate would be decided today are - State Urban Development Minister and former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur (Govindpura, Bhopal), Forest Minister Sartaj Singh (Seoni-Malwa, Hoshangabad district) and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra (Datia proper in Datia district).
State Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta has contested from Bhopal South-West while Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Gopal Bhargava from Rehli and BJP MP Yashodhara Raje Scindia from Shivpuri.
Among the prominent Congress candidates are - Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Ajay Singh (Churhat constituency in the Sidhi district.), Jaiwardhan Singh, the son of party General Secretary and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh. Jaiwardhan has contested polls from Raghogarh constituency in Guna district.
BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has congratulated Shivraj Singh Chouhan for "BJP`s wonderful performance in the Assembly Elections here, while Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said that `Narendra Modi factor` did not work in MP.
Speaking to reporters, Shukla said that the Modi factor has not worked in MP as the BJP`s election posters had only Shivraj Singh Chouhan all over and not the Gujarat Chief Minister.
Chouhan, 53, first became the chief minister in 2005. Before that, the BJP`s Uma Bharti became the chief minister in 2003 and after she quit, Babulal Gaur became the chief minister for a short while.
Madhya Pradesh has achieved high GDP growth in the past few years, shedding the tag of a BIMARU state. BIMARU (or sickly) was an acronym for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, coined for these four north Indian states lagging behind in economic development.
Madhya Pradesh has also seen impressive growth in agriculture under Chouhan`s stewardship. His welfare schemes for the girl child have been emulated by some other states.
Chouhan has sought to build an image of a moderate, tolerant leader. He sported a traditional skull cap while greeting Muslims after Eid-ul-Fitr prayers in Bhopal earlier this year, unlike Narendra Modi whose refusal at an event in Gujarat triggered a controversy and national headlines.
The vote count for 230-seat assembly started across 51 districts at 8 am. Postal ballots were counted first and half-an-hour later, the counting of EVMs began.
The BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh witnessed a record voter turnout of 70 percent when nearly 4 crore 65 lakh voters exercised their franchise to decide the fate of a total of 2,583 in the 230-member Assembly.
The Congress has been out of power in the state since it lost elections in December 2003.
The BJP had come to power in the state in 2003, winning 173 seats, while Congress could manage only 38. The saffron party secured a second straight term in 2008 pocketing 143 seats, while Congress got 71, BSP 7, Bhartiya Jan Shakti Party 5, SP 1 and Independent 3.