The results for the high-pitched battle in Madhya Pradesh will be declared when counting of votes for the 230-member assembly will till place on December 11. Incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is looking to retain power for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state while Congress has levelled several allegations to bring the ruling government in the dock. Chouhan is the BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate in the state but the Congress has said that it will decide on the name if the results are in favour of the party. However, senior party leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia are being seen as the prime contenders for the post if Congress comes to power in the state.
Here are the key constituencies which will be keenly watched as results are announced on December 11.
Incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be contesting from the Budhni seat in the current Assembly elections. In the 2013 elections, Chouhan had defeated his closest rival Mahendra Singh Chouhan of the Congress by a margin of 84,805 votes. For the 2018 polls, Congress leader Arun Subhashchandra is fighting against Shivraj.
In the 2013 elections, Congress leader Ajay Arjun Singh defeated BJP's Sarvendu Tiwari in Churhat seat by a margin of 19,356 votes. For the 2018 polls, both the Congress and the BJP have kept the candidates unchanged on the seat.
In the 2013 elections, BJP's Dr. Narottam Mishra defeated Congress leader Rajendra Bharti with a margin of 12081 votes in Datia seat. As per the 2013 election data, 1,72,698 voters exercised their franchise in the constituency. For the 2018 polls, the BJP and the Congress have fielded the same candidates again.
In the 2013 elections, BJP's Yashodhara Raje Scindia defeated Congress leader Birendra Raghuwanshi with a margin of 11145 votes in Shivpuri seat. She is currently serving as the minister of Commerce Industries and Employment in the Madhya Pradesh government. As per the 2013 election data, 2,22,539 voters exercised their franchise in the constituency. For the 2018 polls, the BJP has yet again fielded Yashodhara while the Congress has named Siddharth Ladha and Bahujan Samaj Party has named Mohammad Irshad Rayeen for the seat.
In the 2013 elections, Congress leader Prem Singh defeated BJP's Surendra Singh Gaharwa with a margin of 10,970 votes on the Chitrakoot seat. After Singh's death in 2017, Congress's Nilanshu Chaturvedi won the Chitrakoot bypoll in the state defeating his BJP rival Shankar Dayal Tripathi by a margin of 14,133 votes. This year, the seat is witnessing a triangular contest, between Congress, BJP and BSP. While Congress has named Chaturvedi as its candidate, BJP has fielded Surendra Singh Gaharwa and the BSP has fielded Ravendra Singh Patwari on the seat.
In the 2013 elections, Congress leader Jaivardhan Singh defeated BJP's Radhe Shyam Dhakad with a massive margin of 58,204 votes on the Raghogarh seat. Raghogarh seat has been a traditional Congress seat and BJP has been struggling to break the magic of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in Raghogarh. This seat represented Digvijaya's son Jayawardhan. For the 2018 polls, Congress has named Singh, BJP has named Bhupendra Singh Raghuwanshi and Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded Banwari Lal Ahirwar.
In the 2013 elections, BJP's Baboolal Gour defeated Congress leader Govind Goyal with a massive margin of 70644 votes on the Govindpur seat. As per the 2013 election data, 2,97,061 voters exercised their franchise in the constituency. The seat is witnessing a triangular contest with BJP fielding Krishna Gaur, Congress naming Girish Sharma and Bahujan Samaj Party naming Babulal Valmiki for the 2018 polls.
In the 2013 elections, Congress leader Arif Aqueel defeated BJP's Arif Baig with a margin of 6664 votes on the Bhopal North seat. As per the 2013 election data, 2,25,605 voters exercised their franchise in the constituency. While the BJP has been in power in the state in the 15 years, the party is yet to win on the Bhopal North seat. Congress's Aqueel has been winning the seat for the Congress since 1990. In 2018, the BJP has fielded its lone Muslim candidate Fatima Rasool Siddiqui to take on Aqueel. Bahujan Samaj Party has named Prakash Narvade on the seat.
In the 2013 elections, Congress leader Sanjay Pathak defeated BJP's Padma Shukla with a margin of 929 votes on the Vijayraghavgarh seat. Sanjay Pathak has dominated the seat since the last two elections winning the seat both in 2013 as well as 2008 elections as a Congress candidate. However, he later joined the BJP and is currently serving as Minister of State for MSME. In 2018, Sanjay Pathak is contesting on BJP seat while Padma Shukla is contesting on a Congress ticket.
In the 2013 elections, BJP's Jayant Malaiya defeated Congress leader Chandra Bhan Bhaiya with a margin of 4953 votes on the Damoh seat. In 2018, the BJP has again fielded Malaiya while Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party have named Rahul Singh and Komal Ahirwar respectively. The elections in Damoh is being considered as one of the biggest fights in 2018 polls where independent Dr Ramkrishna Kusumaria may divide BJP's vote share.