After days of hectic campaigning involving acerbic allegations and counter allegations, Madhya Pradesh Assembly election results will finally be out on Tuesday to reveal whether the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is able to retain the state or can the Congress unseat the ruling party. Counting for the 230-member Assembly will begin at 8 am on Tuesday.
Incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has exuded confidence of winning the state for the BJP again. If BJP wins the state, Shivraj is likely to become the CM for the fourth successive term. He has been in office since 2005. He himself is seeking re-election from Budhni seat in Sehore district where he is pitted against Congress candidate and former minister Arun Yadav.
While leaders from both parties have claimed they are on the way to win with a comfortable margin, most of the exit polls have shown the Congress emerging as the single largest party in the state.
While Shivraj is BJP's CM candidate, the Congress has not declared its chief ministerial candidate. It has maintained that the party will take the decision after results of the elections are declared. However, party veterans Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia are being seen as strong contenders for the top post if Congress wins the state.
The counting of votes will begin at 8 am on Tuesday and postal ballots will be taken up first followed by electronic voting machines at 8:30 am. The election for the 230-member assembly was held on November 28 and as many as 2,899 candidates are in the fray.
The BJP has fielded candidates on all seats and the Congress on 229 as it left one seat for Sharad Yadav's Loktantrik Janata Dal. The BSP put up 227 candidates while the SP 51. The Aam Aadmi Party, contesting the state election for the first time, fielded candidates on 208 seats. Also testing their electoral fortunes are 1,094 Independent candidates.