Early trends in the Madhya Pradesh election on Sunday unveiled a significant lead for the BJP, securing 37 seats according to data released by the Election Commission of India. VD Sharma, the State BJP president, expressed confidence in the party's potential to secure the most seats, emphasizing the developmental strides under PM Modi's leadership.
For the past two decades, Madhya Pradesh has remained a stronghold for the BJP. Contrastingly, Congress has shown a lead in only 7 seats as per the EC's 9:30 am update.
Congress president Kamal Nath exhibited unwavering confidence in the electorate, stating, "I trust the voters of Madhya Pradesh; I am not inclined to follow the trends until 11 am."
This state witnessed a high-stakes electoral competition for the 230-member Legislative Assembly, where securing 116 seats marks the majority needed for any party or alliance to stake a claim for government formation.
The BJP maintained its lead in constituencies such as Mauganj and Timarni, according to the Election Commission's 9:10 am result trends.
Counting for the single-phase polls held on November 17 commenced at 8 am. Preceding exit-poll projections largely favored the BJP, indicating a shortfall for Congress in capitalizing on expected 'anti-incumbency.' Nevertheless, some exit polls suggested an advantage for the Congress party.
Madhya Pradesh has sustained BJP dominance for the past two decades, except during the 15-month tenure of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in 2018.
The BJP campaigned under a collective leadership, while Congress highlighted former Chief Minister Kamal Nath as its prime ministerial face.
Exit poll outcomes implied that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's welfare initiatives, coupled with the BJP's governance at the Centre, resonated positively with Madhya Pradesh's diverse electorate, including a significant tribal and Dalit population.
In the 2018 state assembly elections, Congress seized power with Kamal Nath assuming the chief ministerial position. Subsequently, Jyotiraditya Scindia and 22 MLAs shifted allegiance to the BJP, leading to Chouhan's reinstatement as Chief Minister.