The effect of the Jyotiraditya Scindia factor in the changed political scenario in Madhya Pradesh will be known when the votes polled for by-elections to 28 Assembly seats in the state will be counted on Tuesday. The BJP needs to win at least eight of these 28 seats to retain power and attain a simple majority in the 230-member Assembly, whose effective strength is 229.
The bypoll results are also crucial for former chief minister Kamal Nath, who lost power in the state seven months ago when a section of Congress MLAs revolted against him after Scindia quit the party and joined the BJP. The counting will be held from 8 am on Tuesday in 19 districts where the by-elections were held on November 3, an official said on Monday.
The Election Commission’s guidelines regarding COVID-19 will be in place so that counting agents do not assemble in large numbers at the counting centres, he said. A candidate, his poll agent and counting agent can remain present in the counting hall, as per the EC’s instructions.
“Results can be displayed from the control unit on a big screen as per the EC’s directives,” the official said. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 70.27 per cent voter turnout was recorded during the bypolls which were contested by 355 candidates, including 12 ministers.
The average voting percentage in the 2018 Assembly polls in these 28 constituencies, most of them in the Gwalior-Chambal region, was 72.93 per cent, the official said. For the first time in Madhya Pradesh, bypolls have been held in as many as 28 Assembly seats in the 230-member House in one go.
The by-elections to 25 of these seats were necessitated as the sitting Congress MLAs resigned and joined the BJP. They contested the bypolls as BJP candidates. In the remaining three Assembly segments, bypolls were held due to demise of the sitting legislators.
One more Congress MLA resigned recently. The BJP currently has 107 MLAs, while the Congress has 87 legislators in the House.