No Congress leader can be "poached", Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar told NDTV Friday, a day after exit polls gave the party a win over the BRS in the Telangana election and a shot at defeating the BJP in Madhya Pradesh.
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The 2023 Madhya Pradesh Assembly election will be held in a single phase on November 17, followed by voting in Rajasthan on November 25 and in Telangana on November 30. The final round of polls this year will begin with Mizoram voting on November 7. Chhattisgarh is the only state in this round of polls to vote in two phases - the first will coincide with voting in Mizoram (i.e., November 7) and the second with Madhya Pradesh (i.e., November 17). All results will be declared on December 3.
Approximately 16.1 crore people will cast their votes in this round of elections, which are widely seen as 'semi-finals' because they take place just months before the 2024 Lok Sabha election. The term of the Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana assemblies end in January next year, while that of Mizoram ends in December.
The Congress claimed a hat-trick of victories in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in 2018, but was couldn't hold on to the latter after ex-leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and nearly two dozen lawmakers from the ruling party crossed to the BJP, leading to the fall of Kamal Nath's government.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress won 68 seats while the BJP won just 15, with the former claiming 43 per cent of the vote-share. The Assembly has 90 seats and the majority mark is set at 46. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP and Congress finished almost neck-and-neck; the saffron party won 109 seats and the Congress 114. The state has 230 Assembly segments and the majority mark is 116.
Of the Rajasthan Assembly's 200 seats (majority mark = 101), the Congress won 100 and the BJP 73 in the last election. The Congress finally formed the government, and Ashok Gehlot was installed as Chief Minister, after support from the Bahujan Samaj Party, which claimed six seats. Telangana, the only southern state in this round of polls, has 119 seats. The majority mark is set at 60. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao's Bharat Rashtra Samithi won a thumping majority in 2018 - it won 88 seats. In Mizoram, the Mizo National Front swept the 2018 polls, winning 27 of the state's 40 seats. The Congress won just four and the BJP one. The remaining were won by independent candidates. The majority mark in the Mizoram Assembly is 21 seats.