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Full majority govt or a repeat of 2018? Speculation heats up in MP ahead of vote-counting day

With the stage set for the counting of votes for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, excitement and nervousness can be seen among workers and leaders across of all political parties in the state.

The counting will begin on Sunday morning and everyone is busy speculating whether the new government would be formed with absolute majority or Independent MLAs would again play the role of kingmaker like they did in 2018.

As the election witnessed neck-to-neck fight between the Congress and BJP, the fate of the candidates contesting on 230 assembly constituencies in the will be unsealed on Sunday.

Congress leadership believe the people were fed up with “corruption and scams” and they have voted for a change in Madhya Pradesh while the ruling BJP is expecting to retain power with magic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Ladli Behna Yojana – a women centric cash scheme launched few months before the election.

The Congress had managed to win 114 seats in 2018 and it had formed the government with support from Independent, SP and BSP MLAs. However, a political crisis broke out within the party brought the BJP back to power after 15 months.

Jyotiraditya Scindia along with 22 Congress MLAs joined the BJP in March 2020 and Kamal Nath’s government was ousted from power.

The election in Madhya Pradesh held in single phase on November 17 and the state saw a record voter turnout of 77.82 per cent – 2.19 per cent more than the 2018 elections.

A total of 692 tables have been placed for the counting of postal ballots in the state, while 4,369 tables have been set up to place the EVMs, as per the Election Commission (EC) data.

Postal ballots will be counted between 8 a.m. and 8.30 a.m., after which the counting of votes through EVMs will begin in the presence of officials and political parties’ authorised agents.

Soon after the postal ballots are counted, its result will be declared candidate-wise by the officials concerned and the exercise will be followed after the completion of each round of counting, he said.

At 26, Jhabua seat will see the highest number of counting rounds, while the lowest number of 12 rounds will be held in Sevda constituency in Datia district.

“All arrangements have been made for conducting the counting and all the district returning officers, police commissioners and superintendent of police were directed to follow necessary security protocols. The government has declared the day of counting a ‘dry day’, during which all wine and liquor shops shall remain closed,” MP Election Commissioner Anupam Rajan said.

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