Will Mamaji recreate a miracle in Madhya Pradesh?

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Will Mamaji recreate a miracle in Madhya Pradesh?

| Updated: December 3, 2023 12:14

If BJP wins Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections this season, it should definitely promote Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Popularly known as Mamaji, the veteran politician is attempting to become the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for the fifth time. He already has the record of being the longest serving chief minister of Madhya Pradesh (MP).

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Son of a farmer, Shivraj Singh has worked his way up in life and politics. He became the CM of MP for the first time in 2005 after winning a by-election from Budhni. He was the State BJP president then.

In 2008, Chouhan retained his Budhni seat by over 41,000 votes, and with it, led the BJP to a second consecutive victory in the state. On 8 December 2013, Chouhan won Legislative Assembly elections from Budhni by defeating his Congress rival with an impressive margin of 84805 votes. He became MP CM for the third time.

In 2018, CM Shivraj Singh resigned after BJP failed to garner a majority, However, Mamaji’s luck blossomed as Congress’ Jyotiraditya Scindia walked out of the Congress along with 22 MLAs in 2020. 

Kamalnath’s Congress government collapsed. The 77 year old Kamal Nath has personal and professional reasons to defeat the BJP in MP this time.  He wants to avenge Jyotiraditya Scindia and teach him a lesson for being a “traitor”.

Some political analysts claim that if BJP wins Madhya Pradesh, they may even encourage young blood and ensure a smooth transition by endowing the Chief ministership to Jyotiraditya Scindia. The only block is that Shivraj Singh Chouhan is 64 years old, younger than the BJP’s definition of old. He is also younger than Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Political history of MP

The first election after the formation of Madhya Pradesh was held in 1957. Before the formation of the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the Vindhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly, Bhopal Legislative Assembly, Madhya Bharat Legislative Assembly, Gwalior and Madhya Pradesh and Berar Legislative Assembly existed. There were a total of 99 members in the Madhya Bharat Legislative Assembly. Liladhar Mandaloi was appointed as the first Chief Minister of Madhya Bharat. On November 1, 1956, Madhya Pradesh was born and a new Legislative Assembly came into existence. This Legislative Assembly had 288 seats. Mishrilal Gangwal became the first Chief Minister in 1952.

After the formation of Madhya Pradesh in 1957, the first election was held with 288 seats. In 1967, the number of seats increased to 296. Until now, the Congress had a strong presence, but the Congress was wiped out during the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi in 1975. The impact of which was seen in the 1977 assembly elections. At the call of Jayaprakash Narayan, all major opposition parties united, and as a result, the Janata Party came into existence. Whose election symbol was a plowman. The number of seats increased to 320 due to new demarcation. Many veterans lost the election in the storm of the Janata Party. For the first time after independence, the opposition came to power. In that election, the Janata Party got the highest 47.28% votes. While Congress got 35.88% votes. Janata Party got 230, Congress got 84 and 5 seats went to independents.

Rise of BJP in 80’s

In the 1980 election in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress won 246 seats and came to power, while the Bharatiya Janata Party won 60 seats. This was BJP’s first election contest after the party was formally formed just a month before the elections. Earlier, the Bharatiya Janasangh, from which the BJP sprouted, was also active and successful in Madhya Pradesh. By the time the 1990 election came, the Ram Mandir movement had started in the country. Out of 320, BJP won 220 seats.


Digvijaya Singh became the Chief Minister in 1993

After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the state government was dismissed due to the raging violence and President’s rule was imposed. Elections were held in 1993 and Congress won 174 seats. Digvijay Singh became the CM.

Last election of undivided Madhya Pradesh saw the Congress winning again. Before Chhattisgarh was formed, the last election of undivided Madhya Pradesh was held in 1998. Congress won and came to power with 172 seats.  Congress again came to power with 172 seats. Digvijay Singh again became the chief minister.

Digvijay continued as CM from 1993 to 2003 when Uma Bharti of BJP became the CM and the first woman CM of MP.

BJP’s victory saga in MP

After the formation of Chhattisgarh, there were 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh. In 2003, elections were held on these seats, in which the BJP captured 173 seats to get a huge majority. Uma Bharati became the first woman Chief Minister of the state. time.
In the 2003 State Assembly polls, she led the BJP to a sweeping win in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly. She defeated her Indian National Congress (INC) opponent from the Malehra seat by a 25 per cent margin. She resigned from the post of Chief Minister in August 2004, when an arrest warrant was issued against her regarding the 1994 Hubli riot case. After a falling-out with the BJP, she established her own political party for a while before returning to the fold and being elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the state of Uttar Pradesh. She was subsequently re-elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India.

In 2004, Babulal Gaur became the Chief Minister. In 2005, Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as the Chief Minister for the first time. The BJP again won in 2008 and 2013 and Shivraj Singh aka Mamaji was made the Chief Minister for the third time.

Congress wins to lose (2018-2020)

Congress came to power after a decade and half in 2018. In the 15th Legislative Assembly elections in 2018, the Congress got 114 seats and was only 2 seats short of the majority. However, Kamal Nath became the Chief Minister with the support of the independent MLAs. However, nothing appeared to be working in his favour or his party’s in MP then.

Citing disgruntlement with the INC leadership, Jyotyiraditya Scinidia quit the Congress party on 10 March 2020. He walked out with 22 MLAs leading to the fall of Kamal Nath government.  The Congress party then released a statement claiming that he had been expelled for “anti-party activities.” Scindia joined the BJP within 24 hours. In the next 10 days, the Kamal Nath government resigned. A political crisis and clever manipulation by then MP governor Anandiben Patel saw the BJP forming the government. Shivraj Singh Chouhan was sworn in as the CM. Chouhan is now seeking re-election.

Key Seats

Political pundits are describing the MP elections as Kaante ki takkar, a keen fight between the ruling BJP and the Congress. Here are five key seats of the State.

Budhni

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been winning Budhni since 2006. Budhni has seen significant victory margins in the last three elections, with the largest margin in 2013, when Chouhan won by 84,805 votes and a vote share of nearly 70%. In 2013, voter turnout was lower than in 2018. This time, the voter turn out reduced by further 10 percent on this seat.

Chhatarpur

This is Kamal Nath’s fort. He is fighting BJP’s Vivek Bunty Sahoo (BJP) this time.

Kamal Nath has a strong foothold in Chhatarpur, having won the Assembly seat in the 2019 by-election by over 25,800 votes. His illustrious political career is reflected in his record nine wins from the Chhatarpur Lok Sabha seat. Kamal Nath became the CM in 2018 but had to resign in 2020 after the Scindia rebellion.

In Chhatarpur, the victory margin has fluctuated in the last three elections, with the INC winning by a margin of 14,547 votes in 2018. The winning candidate’s vote share was 50.47%. In 2013, BJP had won from this seat.

Narsinghpur

The BJP has fielded its union minister Prahlad Singh Patel from this OBC dominated constituency. His main rival is Lakhan Singh of Congress.This seat is a fiefdom of the Patel brothers. Prahlad Patel’s brother Jalam won the 2013 and 2018 Assembly elections from this seat. This time, Jalam has been replaced by his brother Prahlad.

Indore

Indore is witnessing a keen fight between Kailash Vijayvargiya of BJP and Sanjay Shukla of Congress. Last elections, Sanjay had won for the Congress from Indore.

The BJP has fielded senior leader and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya to contest the election from Indore-1, a seat currently held by Congress’ Sanjay Shukla. With the BJP having won the seat in 2008 and 2013, the party’s aim is to regain its dominance in the region by fielding a strong leader.

Indore-1 has seen fluctuations in the victory margin in the last three elections, with the lowest margin in 2018, when INC’s Sanjay Shukla won by 8,163 votes.

The winning candidate’s vote share in 2018 was 50.24%. The high voter turnout in 2018 compared to 2013 and 2008 shows the importance of this seat in the state’s electoral landscape.

Lahar

If Congress loses Lahar, it may lose MP, says folk lore.  Dr. Govind Singh has been consistently winning elections from Lahar since 1990. This time he is facing BJP candidate Ambarish Sharma.

Dr. Govind Singh has been an undefeated candidate for the Lahar Assembly seat since 1990. His loyalty to senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh and his consistent victories, including a significant margin of over 9,000 votes in 2018 make him a strong contender in this race.

The 2018 election saw the largest margin of victory on this seat. The victory margin has gradually increased in the last three elections. In 2018, Dr. Govind Singh of the INC won by a margin of 9,073 votes. The winning candidate’s vote share in 2018 was 40.11%, indicating a competitive race. 

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