In the cacophony of the Bihar Assembly election the media seems to have underplayed crucial by-polls for 28 Assembly seats of Madhya Pradesh scheduled for November 3.There is much at stake for the present and former CMs Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Kamal Nath. Chauhan of the BJP on March 23 unseated Kamal Nath by initially breaking 22 of its MLAs. The Congress which had 114 legislators in the House of 230 got reduced to 88 after a few more legislators quit later. Two other MLAs had died.
The drama reached its climax when the then CM Kamal Nath had to resign and Chauhan took on March 23 night just a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced lockdown. Those who deserted the Congress include top party leader of MP, Jyotiraditya Scindia. He was soon rewarded after crossing over to the BJP and was elected to the Rajya Sabha. Party insiders are of the view that he may soon be included in the Narendra Modi cabinet.
But much depends on the result of the by-poll for 28 seats. If the Congress wins all–which appears to be virtually impossible–then its tally would jump from 88 to 116 and nobody would be able to stop the return of power of Kamal Nath.
However, if it manages to win 20–which too would be a big achievement–the congress party tally would jump to 108, that is one more than of the BJP’s 107. If the rest eight seats go to the saffron party its tally would reach 115.
The House has four Independent, two BSP and one Samajwadi Party MLAs. If all these seven throw their weight behind the Congress then 108 +7 would mean 115. Thus it would be tie in the House of 230. So the Congress will have to at least win 21 seats if it really wants to remain in the contest.
No doubt the BJP is facing a lot of trouble within as many of its old guards are feeling neglected and posing threat to the turncoats who are contesting yet it would be a tall order for the Congress if it win at least 21 seats and manages to get the support of seven others.
Anyway if the BJP fails in the Madhya Pradesh by-polls and the Congress really bounces back than it would be a great setback to the saffron brigade after Rajasthan.