Madhya Pradesh bypolls: Rallies of Congress' Jyotiraditya Scindia saw a good turnout.
Madhya Pradesh by-polls will be held in Mungaoli and Kolaras seats on February 24 and the counting of votes will take place on February 28. Mungaoli and Kolaras seats were vacated after the death of sitting Congress MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda (Mungaoli) and Ram Singh Yadav (Kolaras). Madhya Pradesh bypolls is being seen as a prestige battle for Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan and his arch-rival Jyotiraditya Scindia of Congress. The two assembly segments are parts Mr Scindia's Guna Lok Sabha constituency and he has put his prestige on the line.
The outcome of the bypolls is being perceived as a pointer to the public mood ahead of the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections in November.
Madhya Pradesh has been a BJP bastion for 15 years and Chief Minsiter Shivraj Singh Chauhan is toiling hard to counter anti-incumbency. For the bypolls itself, the cheif minister has addressed over 40 rallies and done over 10 road shows. On the Congress' side, Jyotiraditya Scindia has addressed over 75 rallies and participated in 15 road shows. The crowds have turned up in huge numbers for his rallies.
After winning Ater and Chitrakoot bypolls, the Congress is leading by 2-0 and BJP is desperate to level the score before the assembly elections in November.
In the last week, the Congress has approached the Election Commission twice. On Thursday, a Congress delegation met Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat and lodged a complaint against Madhya Pradesh BJP MLA Bhind Narendra Singh Kushwaha for trying to influence the bypoll in Kolaras assembly constituency by distributing money. Last week, the Congress had complained to the Election Commission alleging discrepancies in the voters list in Madhya Pradesh.