Battle for Madhya Pradesh 2023: Parties Gear Up for 2023 Assembly Elections

Madhya Pradesh 2023: As the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections slated for November draw near, both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) are closely examining the constituencies that were won or lost by slim margins in the 2018 elections. The margins were so thin that the INC won nine seats with a margin of fewer than 1,300 votes, three of which were later claimed by the BJP in by-elections. Conversely, the BJP secured seven seats with margins of fewer than 1,234 votes.

Changing Candidates in the Mix

Both parties are working diligently to ensure victory in these highly competitive constituencies. The INC is considering replacing candidates in some seats while retaining others, a strategy that mirrors the BJP’s approach.

BJP’s Missed Opportunities in 2018

In the 2018 Assembly elections, despite securing a higher vote percentage, the BJP missed the opportunity to form the government. The party received 41.02% of the votes and won 109 seats. Of these, seven candidates won with a margin of fewer than 1,234 votes. For example, Mahesh Rai, the BJP candidate from the Bina constituency in Sagar district, won by a margin of just 460 votes. Similarly, Veerendra Raghuvanshi, a BJP MLA who won by a margin of 720 votes in Kolaras, has now joined the INC. Rajendra Pandey from Jawad won by a margin of 511 votes.

This pattern also extended to seats like Chandla, Nagod, Devtalab, and Indore, where BJP candidates won with slim margins. Conversely, the INC managed to win seats like Damoh, Mandhata, Nepanagar, and Suwasra by less than 1,284 votes.

Changing Alliances: Shifting Loyalties

Several legislators who won by thin margins in 2018 have since switched parties. For instance, Rahul Singh, who won in Jawara by a margin of 826 votes, is now with the BJP. Similarly, Govardhan Dangi, who won by a slim margin in the same constituency in a by-election after his father’s passing, remains with the INC. Vikram Singh, who won by 732 votes in Rajnagar, Vinay Saxena, who won in Jabalpur North, and Bala Bachchan, who won by 932 votes in Rajpur, all continue to serve as INC MLAs.

Interestingly, Praveen Pathak won in Gwalior South with the smallest margin of 121 votes, showing how even the slightest shifts can impact the outcome.

Candidate Selection Under Scrutiny

Both the BJP and the INC have conducted surveys and gathered feedback from their workers to determine their best candidates for the upcoming elections. The BJP has already announced 79 candidates across three lists, which include some who contested and lost in previous elections. The party is also introducing fresh faces in certain constituencies and is open to altering strategies based on caste dynamics and local factors.

Meanwhile, the INC is engaged in intensive deliberations regarding candidate selection. The party’s state president, Kamal Nath, along with other leaders, has conducted surveys and sought feedback from party workers. Those MLAs who had weak performances have been informed, and some are likely to be replaced, while in constituencies where the party lost narrowly, preparations are being made to field new candidates.

As the election season heats up, the political landscape in Madhya Pradesh is once again in flux. With both major parties strategizing to secure the crucial seats that slipped through their fingers in the previous election, the 2023 Assembly elections promise to be a fiercely contested battle with shifting allegiances and fresh faces in the fray.

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