The BJP, which is currently leading in at least 10 of the 28 bye-election seats in Madhya Pradesh, appears to be in a comfortable position to retain power in the state. The party has also won nine seats so far.
The Congress has won one seat and is currently leading in seven seats, while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is leading on one seat. The BJP has 107 MLAs in the 230-member Assembly, and needs at least nine seats to stay in power. The Congress, on the other hand, needs to win all 28 seats if it wants to return to power — or at least 21 in order to give itself a chance to bargain with the BSP, SP and Independent MLAs.
The bypolls were necessitated after 25 MLAs of the erstwhile Congress government switched over to the BJP in March 2020, leading to the fall of Kamal Nath’s 15-month-old government. Three seats were left vacant after the deaths of sitting legislators.
A Congress government was elected to power in 2018 after the party won 114 seats in the 230-member House and joined hands with four Independents, two BSP MLAs, and one SP MLA. Jyotiraditya Scindia rocked the boat earlier this year by defecting to the BJP along with 22 other MLAs at first, and then three more. While the Congress’ strength reduced to 88, the BJP, which had won 109 seats in the 2018 Assembly elections, crossed the halfway mark and instated its government under Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
At stake in Madhya Pradesh are the political ambitions of four senior national leaders — Kamal Nath of the Congress, and Jyotiraditya Scindia, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Narendra Singh Tomar of the BJP.