POLITICS
10/12/2018 10:17 AM IST | Updated 10/12/2018 10:19 AM IST

Madhya Pradesh Polls: Star Candidates And Bellwether Constituencies To Watch Out For

Exit polls have predicted a neck-and-neck battle between the BJP and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh.

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Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in a file photo.

Exit polls have predicted a tight race in Madhya Pradesh this election, giving three-time chief minister of the state Shivraj Singh Chouhan a reason to worry.

Madhya Pradesh has a total of 230 Assembly seats and a party must get over 116 seats to gain a majority. In the 2013 polls, the BJP had swept 165 seats, while the Congress had won just 58 seats. BSP four and others three seats.

Ahead of counting on Tuesday, here's a look at the important candidates, bellwether constituencies and underdogs in Madhya Pradesh.

Star candidates and their constituencies

Shivraj Singh Chouhan: The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Chouhan is contesting from the Budhni assembly seat. All eyes are on him because if the BJP wins, it will be a record fourth time.

Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath: Both these Congress leaders are not contesting this election but if the Congress manages to win this election, one of them might become the chief minister. Nath currently heads the party's unit in the state and Scindia is the head of the campaign committee.

Yashodhara Raje Scindia: A minister in Chouhan's cabinet, she is contesting from the Shivpuriseat. She comes from Gwalior's royal family. Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia is her sister and Jyotiraditya Scindia is her nephew.

READ:Exit Polls Show Shivraj Chouhan Has Reason To Worry, Congress Has Edge In Tight Race

Bellwether constituencies

Chachaura: Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Digvijay Singh's brother Laxman Singh is pitted against BJP MP from Rajgarh, Mamata Meena, in this seat. This seat's outcome can give a sense of which way this election is swinging.

Raghoharh: The home turf of Digvijay Singh, the Congress has fielded his son Jaiwardhan from this seat.

Govindpura: Former chief minister and senior BJP leader Babulal Gaur forced the BJP to give a ticket to his daughter-in-law Krishna Gaur from this seat. However, many local leaders were not happy with it which made this election a tough one for her.

High-profile turncoats

Sanjay Singh Masani: CM Chouhan's brother-in-law, he joined the Congress on the eve of the election and is contesting from the Wareseoni seat.

Fatima Siddiqui: Daughter of senior Congress leader Rashool Ahmad Siddiqui, she is the lone Muslim candidate the BJP has fielded in MP this election.

The underdogs

Arun Yadav: Former Congress state president, he is contesting against CM Chouhan from Budhni. If he defeats Chouhan, it will be equivalent to defeating BJP as the party is completely banking on the CM's image due to 15 years' anti-incumbency.

Kailash Vijayvargia and Rakesh Singh: Both these BJP leaders are not contesting elections but in case the BJP decides to replace Chouhan as the CM, one of these two could become the CM of the state.

Ajay Singh: son of powerful Congress politician Arjun Singh, is contesting from Churhat seat. Many are looking at Ajay Singh to carry forward the legacy of his father who died in 2011. He is the leader of opposition in the outgoing assembly and could emerge as a chief ministerial candidate in case the Congress leadership decides to bypass various factions in the state led by Scindia, Singh, and Kamalnath.