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CM Shivraj battles anti-incumbency 

New Delhi, November 28

The stage is set for the people of Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram to elect new governments for their respective states today. The BJP hopes to retain power in the Hindi-speaking Madhya Pradesh for a fourth straight term thwarting the Congress, which plans to do an encore in Mizoram.

The Congress lost power in MP, a state with 230 Assembly seats in 2003 when the BJP rode to power for the first time under Uma Bharti. Since then, it has kept up its winning streak unhindered with incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the helm for the past 13 years.

Tomorrow, over 5 crore voters will have the option to elect candidates of their choice from among some 2,800-odd candidates fielded by the BJP, Congress, BSP, SP, Gondwana Gantantra Party and the Aam Aadmi Party and others, including 1,094 Independents.

Chouhan, popularly known as “mama’(maternal uncle), is battling both anti-incumbency that resulted in the party denying re-nomination to 47 legislators and aggressive campaign led by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. The Congress is straining at the leash to take a realistic shot at power. Opinion polls indicated the ruling BJP is up for a challenge, largely from the Congress. The 2013 results show that the BJP secured 44.88 per cent votes and reaped a rich harvest of 165 seats as against the Congress’ share of 36.88 per cent for 58 seats. 

The outcome for either party would depend on the vote share of the BSP that had got 6.29 per cent votes last time. The Congress’ attempts to have Mayawati’s BSP on its side have proved futile.

Incidentally, both Uma Bharti and Chouhan are from the OBC category and part of the new approach adopted by the BJP under then party incharge Narendra Modi, who, in 1998, brought to fore a new line of leadership by co-opting OBC members.

Irrespective of whether issue like demonetisation and GST would cast a shadow on the functioning of the Chouhan government or the series of welfare measures initiated by his government would carry the day, for the BJP, much is at stake in this state. The Congress feels the “mahoul’’ (condition) is ripe to shake this BJP citadel, which then gives impetus to its attempt to alter the power structure through LS poll. 

PM tears into family-ruled parties

Congress and TRS are two faces of the same coin. Both are competing against each other on who tells more lies. They are family-ruled parties playing a friendly match in Telangana… The CM and his family think they can get away with doing no work like the Congress.  Narendra Modi, prime minister

Saffron citadel since ’03

The BJP has been in power in MP, which has 230 Assembly seats, since 2003; incumbent CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is at the helm for past 13 years

5 crore voters will elect candidates of their choice from among some 2,800-odd candidates

Cong’s last bastion in N-E 

  • For the 40-member Mizoram Assembly, the principal contenders include the ruling Congress and the Mizo National Front
  • 7.68 lakh voters to decide fate of 209 candidates with the BJP aspiring to see “lotus” bloom in the Christian-majority state
  • NPP and ZPM nominees can also spring some surprises

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