Madhya Pradesh Assembly election 2018 is proving to be the most closely contested poll of the last few years with leads changing with every passing minute. One moment it is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is in the lead and the next moment it is the Congress that is moving ahead of its rival. Almost all the seats in the Madhya Pradesh are witnessing a tough fight between the two principal rivals with the BJP trying to save its stronghold against a resurgent Congress.
The magic figure to form a government in Madhya Pradesh, which has a 230-member Assembly, is 116 and if neither the BJP nor the Congress manages to secure a majority on its own, the role of smaller parties and Independents will become extremely crucial. At 1:45 pm, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was leading in four seats while the Gondvana Gantantra Party, Bahujan Sangharshh Dal and Samajwadi Party candidates were ahead in one seat each. Independents were ahead in three other seats.
The Congress has already bounced back with big wins in Assembly elections 2018 by crossing the half-way mark in two BJP-ruled states - Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh while the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has secured a massive 3/4th majority in the 119-member Telangana Assembly, decimating the Mahakutami (Congress-Telugu Desam Party-Telangana Jana Samithi-Communist Party of India alliance).
Ruled by the BJP for the last 15 years, Chhattisgarh Assembly election 2018 saw the electorate voting in favour of the Congress. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh failed to defend his fortress as the Congress registered impressive gains. In Rajasthan, the Congress will unseat the Vasundhara Raje government.
While the BJP has been in power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the last 15 years, Rajasthan has been alternating between the Congress and BJP since the 1993 Assembly elections. Mizoram is going to the Mizo National Front which has pushed the Congress to the second spot. The TRS is the ruling party in Telangana. Mizoram is the only state in the Northeast which still has the Congress in power.
The final results in all the five states are expected to be declared by early afternoon.
The elections saw a long-drawn and acidic campaign by all the major parties with the stakes very high for the BJP as well as the Congress, both of whom are hoping to win big and carry the momentum into the Lok Sabha election which is scheduled to take place in 2019. In Telangana, the youngest and the 29th state of India, the TRS under K Chandrashekhar Rao's leadership has retained power by a much larger margin than the 2014 Assembly elections. The BJP was hoping to retain Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh but the Congress managed to secure all the three states.