BHOPAL — Post-election surveys have predicted an interesting contest in Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is trying for a consecutive fourth term, when votes polled in the state election is counted on Tuesday.
An Election Commission official said Monday the counting would begin at 8 am and postal ballots will be taken up first followed by electronic voting machines at 8:30 am.
The election for the 230-member assembly was held on 28 November and as many as 2,899 candidates are in the fray.
Exit polls have predicted a close race between the BJP and the opposition Congress, but leaders from both the parties have claimed they would win comfortably.
The Republic TV-Jan Ki Baat poll predicted BJP to win on 108-128 seats and the Congress 95-115. The India Today-Axis poll gave 102-120 seats to the ruling party and 104-122 to the Congress. Times Now-CNX predicted a majority for the BJP with 126 seats and gave 89 to the Congress.
In contrast, the ABP News poll gave the Congress a decisive win with 126 seats and said the BJP would win 94 Assembly constituencies.
The BJP has fielded candidates on all seats and the Congress on 229; it left one seat for Sharad Yadav's Loktantrik Janata Dal.
The BSP put up 227 candidates while the SP 51. The Aam Aadmi Party, contesting the state election for the first time, fielded candidates on 208 seats.
Also testing their electoral fortunes are 1,094 Independent candidates.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, in office since 2005, is seeking re-election from Budhni seat in Sehore district and is pitted against Congress candidate Arun Yadav, a former minister.
Of the 5.04-crore registered voters, 3.78 crore (75.05 percent) exercised their franchise.