MP bypolls 2020: Why are they important and what do the numbers say?
Out of these 28 assembly seats, 27 were won by the Congress in the 2018 Madhya Pradesh state elections.Updated: Oct 20, 2020, 15:45 IST
Voting on 28 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh bypolls will take place on November 3 and the results will be declared on November 10. Out of these 28 assembly seats, 27 were won by the Congress in the 2018 Madhya Pradesh state elections.
Here are the key things you need to know about the MP bypolls 2020:
Why were the bypolls necessitated?
Out of the 28 seats where elections will be held, 25 were became vacant after Congress MLAs left the party in March to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This resulted in the fall of the Kamla Nath-led Congress government. Former chief minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan once agains took over the reins. Three other seats were declared vacant after the death of incumbent MLAs. The elections were scheduled to be held on or before September but were delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Why are these bypolls important?
The bypolls are crucial as the political fortunes of a number of key leaders like Chouhan, former chief minister Kamal Nath and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar are at stake.
What do the numbers say?
In the 230-member assembly, the BJP has 107 seats and the support of four independents, two Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) lawmakers and one suspended Samajwadi Party MLA. The BJP aims to become independent of others to form the government and for that it needs to win nine out of the 28 seats in order to cross the halfway mark.
Congress, meanwhile, has 88 MLAs in the Assembly and it would need to win all 28 seats to cross the halfway mark which of course is a tough task. But even if the Congress is able to win 20-21 seats, it could stage a comeback as it would overtake BJP’s tally and put pressure on the independents, the BSP MLAs and the rebel SP MLA to switch sides.
The BSP has called itself the “kingmaker” for these elections which indicates that the party will be flexible enough to switch sides when required.
Why is the Gwalior-Chambal region important in these bypolls?
Out of the 28 seats that are going to the polls, 16 are in the Gwalior-Chambal region. Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh are fighting for supremacy in this region. Caste is a crucial winning factor in this region. It was also the epicentre of the Bharat Bandh against the dilution of the Scheduled Caste and scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in 2018. This region is BSP’s stronghold and as the party is contesting on all seats in the bypolls.