New Delhi: The counting for all the 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh started at 8 am today. The political fate of 438 candidates of the of the Central Indian state contesting the General election 2019 is expected to be decided by the evening.
In the 2014 General election, BJP virtually wiped out Congress in Madhya Pradesh, winning 27 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Congress could only win two seats – Kamal Nath (current CM) from Chhindwara and Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna.
However in last year's 230-member-State-Assembly election, the Congress won 114 seats. BJP came a close second with 109 seats. This year's election will be an interesting one on whether BJP can repeat its 2014 General Assembly success or the Congress will repeat its State-Assembly victory.
BJP has fielded Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, facing trial in Malegaon blast case, from Bhopal seat in Lok Sabha elections. She is set to have direct contest with Congress heavyweight and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.
While Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is contesting again from Guna seat, K P Yadav is the BJP nominee from the seat.
BJP has fielded Shankar Lalwani for the Indore seat after Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, an eight-time MP, had opted out of contesting the general elections. Lalwani, who is making his Lok Sabha poll debut, will be fighting against Congress's Pankaj Sanghvi.
The Chhindwara seat has been a Congress bastion since 1957 and the only time the party lost it to BJP was in the 1997 byelection held when BJP candidate Sundar Lal Patwa emerged as the winner from here. This year Congress has fielded Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's son Nakul Nath from this seat. Kamal Nath has represented the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat nine times.
In Madhya Pradesh, electors voted for 29 Lok Sabha seats in the fourth (April 29), fifth (May 6), sixth (May 12) and seventh (May 19) phase.
Elections to 542 seats of the 543-member Lok Sabha, panning over seven phases, ended Sunday (May) 19 since the Election Commission deferred election for Vellore in Tamil Nadu over allegations of misuse of money power.
As per the Supreme Court's instruction to the Election Commission (EC), the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips tally will also be taken into account while counting the votes this time. Paper slips of five VVPATs per assembly segment in every parliamentary segment will be counted. The vote tallying will begin after the last round of counting which will lead to delay in the results by at least five hours or more.
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