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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018: High-decibel campaign ends

Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018: Political observers say the assembly elections to be held on Wednesday is a close contest between the ruling BJP and Congress. Over 50 million voters will decide whether the BJP, which has ruled the state since 2003, will be fourth time lucky.

madhya-pradesh-elections Updated: Nov 27, 2018 08:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Bhopal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off his MP campaign only on November 16. He also visited the Vindhya region, which has 30 seats in the 230-member strong state assembly.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off his MP campaign only on November 16. He also visited the Vindhya region, which has 30 seats in the 230-member strong state assembly.(PTI)
         

The high-decibel campaign that witnessed several acrimonious exchanges came to an end at 5 pm on Monday.

Political observers say that the battle for the state assembly elections to be held on Wednesday is a close contest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress.

Over 50 million voters will decide whether the BJP, which has ruled the state since 2003, will be fourth time lucky.

The other parties in the fray are the Bahujan Samaj Party, alliance partners Samajwadi Party and Gondwana Gantantra Party, and the Aam Admi Party. MP is the largest of five states going for polls and contributes the largest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha (29) among them.

Congress national president Rahul Gandhi made eight visits to the state starting June and visited all regions of the state, holding nearly 20 public meetings and half a dozen road shows. He was accompanied by state Congress chief Kamal Nath, campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia, and other top state leaders.

Read more: Vote share in 2013

Independently, Scindia is estimated to have held over 100 public meetings and a dozen road shows, while Nath held over 60 public meetings and a dozen road shows.

In contrast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off his MP campaign only on November 16. He also visited the Vindhya region, which has 30 seats in the 230-member strong state assembly.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s much-touted Jan Ashirwad Yatra, which began in July and sought to visit all the state’s assembly constituencies was called off abruptly in October, after covering 187 seats.

The BJP attacked Rahul Gandhi and compared the development in MP over the last 13 years to the 10-year Congress rule from 1993-2003. On Monday BJP national vice president Prabhat Jha said the Congress’s attack on the PM’s parents was condemnable.

Read more: Win map of 2013

The Congress’s campaign involved a mix of local and national issues, including the alleged corruption in the Rafale deal, farm distress, lack of development and unemployment, corruption, lack of security for women and atrocities on Dalits and adivasis.

Congress leader Raj Babbar in Indore last week compared the falling value of rupee against US dollar with the age of the prime minister’s mother.

State Congress media-in-charge Shobha Oza said, “It was unfortunate to note that during the campaign, the PM and CM who hold constitutional posts didn’t refrain from telling lies that Congress had not waived loans in Punjab and Karnataka.”

Votes will be counted on December 11.

For full coverage of MP elections, click here.