The Election Commission of India on Tuesday announced the dates of bypolls in several states and by-elections to fill up 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh will take place on November 3 and its results will be announced on November 10. October 16 is the last date of filing nominations.
Besides the BJP and the Congress pitted in a tough battle in the state, the bypolls are also crucial for BJP Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia who has a tough task of ensuring victory for his 16 supporters in Gwalior-Chambal region -- the outcome of these is likely to decide the future status of the Gwalior family scion in the party.
The ruling BJP, which came to power after the Kamal Nath government lost its majority in March, is comfortable with 107 seats in the Assembly and requires only nine more to cross the magic mark of 116.
Things look tough for the Congress that currently has 88 MLAs and it requires wins in all 28 seats to reach the 116-majority mark. The party faces multiple issues and has been attacking Scindia and company over their betrayal; the party has also garnered sympathy having accused the BJP of toppling its 15-month-old government.
The Congress is also highlighting farm loan waivers achieved in 15 months, adding that the remaining phases of the scheme could not be undertaken as the party lost power.
However, the BJP has accused the Nath government of rampant corruption during its tenure. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has showered sops on poll-bound seats and has tried wooing voters from these regions by announcing a slew of measures, including those for farmers, youth, poor, state government employees and so on. Prominent among these are the Chambal Progress Way in Gwalior–Chambal region and the state government's contribution of Rs 4,000 per annum to the Rs 6,000 PM Kisan Samman Nidhi offered by the Centre.
The Congress party has announced its list of 24 candidates in two phases while the BJP is yet to officially name its candidates but most of them who left the Congress and joined the BJP are sure to get tickets.
As the BJP is packed with turncoats, the Congress has also roped in several who were earlier with the BJP or the BSP.
With the announcement of the poll dates, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the poll-bound constituencies in seven districts and in the entire part of 12 districts.