The ruling BJP and the Congress may be locked in a tight race in Madhya Pradesh, the poll of exit polls predicted today. Results of the five state elections will be declared on Tuesday.
While four of eight exit polls gave the BJP an edge, it is clear that after 15 straight years, the party and its Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan may struggle in Madhya Pradesh, one of its strongest states.
The poll of exit polls indicates that the BJP will win 110 of the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh and the Congress will get 108. The half-way mark in the state is 116.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati, who refused to tie-up with the Congress after months of seat-sharing talks, has been given two seats by the polls.
The BJP, facing anti-incumbency after its long rule, is banking on a divided Congress saving it in Madhya Pradesh.
The ruling party is confronting farmer protests and the anger of traders and businessmen.
Of the 15 years of BJP rule, Mr Chouhan has been in power for 13 years. In 2013, the BJP won 165 seats and the Congress 58. The BSP won four seats.
The state recorded a turnout of over 74 per cent when voting took place on November 28; the turnout is seen by the Congress as a sign of change.
After the Madhya Pradesh election, there were allegations of EVM tampering by the opposition Congress as the security cameras stopped working for over an hour at a strongroom in which the EVMs or Electronic Voting Machines were kept.
Admitting that there was a power cut that led to cameras blacking out, the Election Commission ruled out any tampering.
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