The five-state elections ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are being pegged as a litmus test for the Modi-led NDA government. Of the five states, Madhya Pradesh holds significance as the state has 29 Lok Sabha constituencies and has been Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) stronghold for the last 15 years.
The BJP came to power in the state in 2003 – in the first elections that were held after the bifurcation of the state – winning 173 of the 230 assembly seats and dethroning a decade-old Congress government.
Since then, the BJP has retained power in Madhya Pradesh with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at the helm of affairs for 13 years. However, Chouhan is now fighting a tide of anti-incumbency and corruption allegations.
So, as the state prepares to vote on 28 November, let’s take a look at who the key players for these elections are, what the mood of the people is in Madhya Pradesh, what the election issues are, and whether the third front be able to make a mark.