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MP Election Results: Congress Defeat Shocks Many, Upbeat BJP Suffers Some Setbacks too

The saffron party could not retain 12 of its ministers, including Home Minister Narottam Mishra and Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel, who lost their seats.
The Congress suspended the 39 rebel leaders, including six MLAs, while the BJP is yet to make a decision.

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI

Bhopal: After weeks of anxiety and speculation, the results of Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections on December 3, have shocked political observers, with opinion among them divided over the reasons for the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which won 163 seats in the 230-member House.

Some political observers believe that either they failed to capture the mood of voters or the results may have been rigged, as alleged by some Congress leaders in the close circles. 

The BJP has retained the state five times since 2003, swinging 7.53% vote share this year in comparison to the previous Assembly polls. The party, which secured 41.02 % votes in the 2018 Assembly polls and won 109 seats, got 48.55% votes this year.

The Congress, on the other hand, secured 40.40% vote share -- a drop of 0.49% from the 2018 Assembly polls -- but the number of seats dropped from 114 to 66 seats. 

Poll observers attribute BJP’s victory to the “charismatic leadership” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the strategy and management of Home Minister Amit Shah and the cash transfer scheme for women, introduced six months ago by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who laboured to win this election, and addressed 155 election rallies alone.

Nonetheless, the BJP’s victory is also laced with some setbacks as 12 of its ministers, including Home Minister Narottam Mishra and Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel, lost their seats. Mishra lost by 7,042 votes while Patel by only 870 votes. Three Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist ministers -- Mahendra Singh Sisodiya, Rajvardan Singh Dattigaon and Arvind Bhadoriya --also lost the election.  

The saffron party's gambit of pitting three Union ministers, four parliamentarians and one general secretary in the poll fray got a lukewarm response. Union Tribal Affairs Minister Faggan Singh Kulaste lost his seat by 9,723 votes and BJP’s parliamentarian from Satna, Ganesh Singh, lost by 4,041 votes.

In comparison to the previous elections, the Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe voters seemed to have entrusted their support to the saffron party. Out of 47 tribal seats, BJP won 24 -- a jump of eight seats from the previous polls.    

This election also gave many shocking results, like the Sailana tribal seat of Ratlam district, which saw 90% voting turnout. There Kamleshwar Dodiyar of Bharat Adivasi Party trounced Congress' senior leader Harsh Vijay Gehlot by 4,618 votes, pushing BJP's Sangeeta to the third position.  

Region-wise results 

The Congress faced a backlash in Gwalior-Chambal, Malwa-Nimar and Bundelkhand regions where it was anticipating a surge in seats apart retaining the previously won ones.

The Gwalior-Chambal region, where the Congress won 26 out of 34 seats earlier, declined to 16 this time. Congress senior leader and leader of opposition in the house, Govind Singh, lost the Lahar Assembly seat that he had been winning since the past 35 years.   

In the Malwa-Nimar region, which holds 66 seats and paved the way for BJP’s victory, the Congress lost half the seats. The party, which had won 36 seats in 2018 from this region, reduced its tally to 18, while the BJP's seat surged to 47 from the previous 27 seats. Senior leaders of Congress, including Sajjan Singh Verma from Sonkach, Jitu Patwari from Rau and Vijay Laxmi Sadho from Maheshwar, lost their seats.

Out of 26 seats in Bundelkhand, the Congress managed to secure five seats in comparison to 10 seats in 2018. 

The upper-caste dominated Vindhya region, which gave six seats out of 30 to Congress in 2018, gave the grand old party only five seats this time round. One of the party’s key OBC (Other Backward Classes) leaders and member of Congress Working Committee, Kamleshwar Patel, also lost the Sehawal Assembly seat. The BJP won 25 seats in the region. The results also rebuffed the impact of the much-anticipated anger of Kol tribal voters after the Sidhi urination incident.    

The tribal-dominated Mahakaushal region, where Congress won 24 seats in 2018 out of 38, dropped to 17 seats. 

It was Mahakaushal, Gwalior-Chambal and Malwa-Nimad regions that had paved the way for the Congress in 2018, but this time, the party failed to retain those seats. 

After the poll debacle, Congress president Kamal Nath held a press conference at the party office along with senior leader Digvijaya Singh and Randeep Singh Surjewala. "I accept the people's mandate and will analyse the reason for defeat," he told reporters.

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