New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is facing its toughest political challenge in Madhya Pradesh as the party under the leadership of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan seeks its fourth successive term in office.

Madhya Pradesh, along with Mizoram, is scheduled to go to polls on Wednesday. People of the two states will decide the fate of political parties, primarily BJP and its arch rival Congress. BJP had won 165 of the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh in 2013 with a vote share of 44% while Congress won 58 seats with a vote share of 36%.

While BJP in Madhya Pradesh is facing anti-incumbency, rural distress and resentment from small and medium traders who are annoyed because of demonetization and implementation of goods and services tax, the Congress government in Mizoram is trying to hold on to its last bastion in the North-East.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is in power in seven of eight states in the North-East. It is keen to add Mizoram to its kitty even as the Congress pushes to retain power. Congress had won 34 seats out of 40, Mizo National Front received five while the Mizoram People’s Conference could manage only one seat in the 2013 assembly polls.

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