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BJP, Congress to clash in Madhya Pradesh by-polls scheduled for 3 November

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan with BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya and Jyotiraditya Scindia during foundation stone laying ceremony of a micro irrigation project in Sanwer (PTI)Premium
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan with BJP leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya and Jyotiraditya Scindia during foundation stone laying ceremony of a micro irrigation project in Sanwer (PTI)

  • In the 202-member Madhya Pradesh assembly, the BJP has 107 MLAs, while Congress has 88. Two MLAs of BSP, one from Samajwadi Party and four independent candidates had given outside support to Congress when Kamal Nath was in power

NEW DELHI: The upcoming by-elections on 28 seats of Madhya Pradesh will decide the fate of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state. Polling will take place on 3 November and counting on 10 November, the Election Commission (EC) said on Tuesday.

Along with Madhya Pradesh, by-elections will also take place on 28 other seats in key states including eight from Gujarat, seven from Uttar Pradesh and two from Jharkhand. Parliamentary constituency Valmikinagar, in Bihar, will also have by-polls along with state assembly elections.

"After taking into consideration various factors like local festivals, weather conditions, movement of forces, pandemic etc, the Commission has decided to hold by-elections to fill these vacancies," the EC said in a press release. It added that the earlier issued guidelines for covid-19 will be followed in the upcoming by-polls as well.

Madhya Pradesh, by far, will offer the most interesting of contests between the ruling BJP and the Congress. The polls are a matter of prestige for former chief minister Kamal Nath led-Congress party, which had lost power about six months ago after a section of rebel MLAs had resigned from the party, leading to vacant assembly seats which are now going to polls.

In the 202-member Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly, the BJP has 107 MLAs, followed by Congress with 88 seats. Two MLAs of Bahujan Samaj Party, one from Samajwadi Party and four independent candidates had given outside support to Congress when Nath was in power.

Congress has so far released its candidate list for 24 assembly constituencies. Of this, it has fielded nine turncoat candidates - seven from BJP and two from BSP.

Earlier in the day, the EC also said it has decided not to hold by-polls for seven assembly seats from four states - Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal - as officials on the ground have expressed difficulty in conducting elections. The tenure of the legislative assemblies of all the four states will come to an end on 1 June.

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