MP: Counting for 28 Assembly seats Bypolls Underway

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Counting of votes for 28 Assembly seat by-polls in Madhya Pradesh underway from Tuesday morning and the results will be an indicator of the effect of the Jyotiraditya Scindia factor in the changed political scenario in the state.

The counting began from 8 am in 19 districts where the by-elections were held on November 3, an election official said.

The ruling BJP needs to win at least eight of these 28 seats to attain a simple majority in the 230-member Assembly, whose effective strength is 229.

The BJP currently has 107 MLAs, while the Congress has 87 legislators in the House.

The by-poll results are also crucial for former chief minister Kamal Nath, who lost power in the state seven months ago when a section of Congress MLAs revolted against him after Scindia quit the party and joined the BJP.

The Election Commission’s guidelines on COVID-19 are in place so that counting agents do not assemble in large numbers at the counting centers, the official said.

A candidate, his poll agent, and counting agent can remain present in the counting hall, as per the EC’s instructions, reported PTI.

“Results can be displayed from the control unit on a big screen as per the EC’s directives,” the official said.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 70.27 percent voter turnout was recorded during the by-polls which were contested by 355 candidates, including 12 ministers.

For the first time in Madhya Pradesh, by-polls were held in as many as 28 Assembly seats in one go.

Bypolls to 25 of these seats were necessitated as the sitting Congress MLAs quit and joined the BJP and contested the by-polls as BJP candidates.

In the remaining three Assembly segments, by-polls were held due to the deaths of the sitting legislators. One more Congress MLA resigned recently.

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