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2-min read

BJP Makes a Come-back With Vengeance in Madhya Pradesh After Assembly Poll Hiccup

After a gap of 15 years, the Congress managed to form a government in Madhya Pradesh in December 2018 with a wafer-thin majority.

PTI

Updated:May 24, 2019, 9:53 PM IST
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BJP Makes a Come-back With Vengeance in Madhya Pradesh After Assembly Poll Hiccup
BJP workers light firecrackers as they celebrate outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi. (Image: AP)
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Bhopal: After losing to the Congress in the last year's assembly polls by a whisker, the BJP ensured a near whitewash of the ruling party in Madhya Pradesh in the Lok Sabha polls.

After a gap of 15 years, the Congress managed to form a government in Madhya Pradesh in December 2018 with a wafer-thin majority.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress could win only Chhindwara seat, where it had fielded Nakul Nath, Chief Minister Kamal Nath's son.

The BJP swept all other 28 seats including Guna, where senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia lost by a big margin to Dr K P Yadav, a former Congressman.

Chhindwara too was a close affair, as Nakul Nath's victory margin -- 37,000 -- is the lowest in the state. In 2014, the Congress had won only two seats: Guna and

Chhindwara. The huge victory margins of BJP candidates showed that it was riding a strong wave.

In Indore, Hoshangabad and Vidisha, BJP candidates won with margins of over five lakh votes. In Jabalpur, Khajuraho, Rajgarh and Shahdol, victory margins exceeded four lakh.

Nine BJP candidates routed their opponents with margins of three lakh or more. Only two seats - Mandla and Ratlam - were won by the BJP with margins of less than one lakh.

The party bagged 58 per cent of total polled votes in Madhya Pradesh, a 17 per cent rise from its vote share of about 41.5 per cent in the 2018 assembly elections.

The Congress' vote share fell to 34.50 per cent, 6 percent less than that in the assembly polls. The Congress had polled little less votes -- about 41 per cent -- than the BJP in the Assembly polls but had won more seats.

The biggest shock for the Congress this time was Scindia's defeat from his home turf Guna. Guna has sent a Scindia family member to the Lok Sabha 14 times since

Independence.

Former chief minister Digvijay Singh took a big risk by agreeing to stand from Bhopal, a BJP bastion.

The contest in Bhopal attracted the whole country's attention when the BJP fielded 2008 Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur. Despite her status as a terror accused and her controversial statements during the campaign, Thakur trounced Singh by 3,60,000 votes.

Union ministers Virendra Kumar and Narendra Singh Tomar won easy victories from Tikamgarh and Morena.

Congress' Kantilal Bhuria, a former union minister, who had won a by-election in 2015 raising the Congress tally to 3 out of 29, lost from Ratlam-Jhabua.

Girija Shankar, a veteran journalist, said Nath may feel somewhat relieved and find more space within his party as other Congress stalwarts, such as Digvijay and Scindia, have lost. But with the BJP's near-clean sweep in the Lok Sabha polls, he may find it difficult to keep Congress' flock together in the Assembly.

Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava has already claimed that the Congress-led government is in a minority, and demanded a special session of the Assembly.

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