The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 118 seats by 4pm on the counting day. It is leading in 38 of the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh.
The Congress won 35 and is ahead in 32 assembly constituencies, while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) secured a victory in two seats and is leading in three.
Buoyed by the good show, Singh gave the credit to party workers, saying, “I express my gratitude to the party. This is the BJP, which is getting a big work done by a small worker... Shivraj is an ordinary worker. The miracle is of the organisation.”
"...our effort will be that when we fight the next Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of Narendra Modi, it should be Madhya Pradesh which contributes the maximum number seats among all states to form a government at the Centre.
"We will not spare any efforts to achieve it. We will work to the maximum to achieve this," Chouhan maintained, adding that he saying this with regard to BJP-ruled states.
BJP workers have started celebrating in MP, while gloom has descended on the Pradesh Congress Committee office on Link Road in state capital Bhopal.
“Credit for the victory goes to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s leadership and good governance, party workers and the central leadership’s guidance,” BJP state president Narendra Singh Tomar said.
Despite apprehensions that anti-incumbency will sink the BJP’s boat, Chouhan was confident about a third term in office. So much so that three days ago, he had announced to host a dinner for party colleagues on December 8 — the judgement day.
Trends from the word go indicated the saffron party’s return to power. MP’s first result saw BJP candidate Ramlal Rautel winning from the Anuppur constituency. Chouhan, contesting from two seats, won both — Vidisha and Budhni.
BJP leaders Babulal Gaur (Govindpura) and Kailash Vijayvargiya (Mhow) registered wins. Surendra Patwa is leading in the Bhojpur assembly seat.
Jaivardhan Singh (Raghogarh) and Ajay Singh (Churhat) are ahead among Congress heavyweights, while Suresh Pachouri (Bhojpur) is trailing.
In the run-up to the elections, Ajay Singh, leader of the opposition in the assembly, had said there was strong anti-incumbency wave against the government.
This time, a record 72% of the 46.4 million MP voters exercised their franchise. A high turnout, traditionally, spells bad news for the ruling party.
Faced with resentment against some entrenched legislators over corruption charges, the BJP had relied on Chouhan’s leadership, welfare schemes, and pro-poor and clean image.
The Congress, on the other hand, was divided from the beginning on leadership. Congress state president Kantilal Bhuria and the opposition leader were not ready to accept the leadership of state Congress campaign committee chairperson Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Till 2003, anti-incumbency sentiments prevailed in the MP.
In 1985, the state recorded 49.79% polling, with the Congress retaining power in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
In 1990, the BJP came to power in the state riding on the Ayodhya movement. The polls witnessed 54.21% turnout.
The saffron party remained in power for just over two years and after the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, the Centre imposed President’s rule in the state.
The 1993 polls saw 60.17% turnout and the return of the Congress to power under the leadership of the then state party president Digvijaya Singh.
The Congress retained power in 1998, amid rising prices of onion becoming a major issue. The turnout increased marginally to 60.21%.
However, 2003 witnessed 67.25% polling, with people coming out to vote on basic issues such as power, roads and water.
The BJP stormed back to power under the leadership of Uma Bharti. The mandate was a stunning 173 seats, which remains a record.
Significantly, this was the first election in MP after Chhattisgarh was carved out.
Despite the BJP frequently changing chief ministers, from Bharti to Babulal Gaur and then Chouhan in 2005, the Congress was unable to turn the tables on the ruling party.
In the 2008 polls, the turnout rose to a record 69.78% and the BJP retained power with 143 seats. Chouhan became the first BJP CM to complete a full term in the state.
The 2013 turnout is the highest in the state in 57 years.