Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) [India], Dec 11 (ANI): The Congress is currently edging the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the battle for power in Madhya Pradesh with a lead in 115 constituencies as opposed to the incumbent ruling party's lead in 104 seats, latest data from the Election Commission of India (ECI) confirmed.
BJP candidate Dilip Kumar Makwana has been delared the winner from the Ratlam Rural constituency, taking the BJP's total tally in the state to 105. Makwana garnered 73,673 votes, while 65,879 votes were cast in favour of the Congress' Thawarlal Bhuriya.
Apart from the two major parties contesting in the 230-seat assembly elections in the state, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Gondvana Gantantrik Party (GGP) and independent candidates are leading in four, two, one and three seats respectively.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is currently leading in the Budhni constituency with 69,081 votes over the former Congress Lok Sabha MP Arun Yadav, who has garnered 33,550 votes.
Meanwhile, the BJP's lone Muslim woman candidate Fatima Rasool Siddiqui (44, 941 votes) is currently trailing behind the Congress' Arif Aqueel (72,556) in the Bhopal North constituency. Aqueel is a long time rival of Fatima's father Rasool Ahmed and a five-time legislator from the seat.
Madhya Pradesh Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia is leading from the Shivpuri seat with 45,771 votes over Congress candidate Siddharth Ladha, while BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya's son Akash Vijayvargiya is trailing behind the Congress' Ashwin Joshi by a margin of 1,743 votes in the Indore-3 constituency.
This marks the first time in 13 years, since incumbent Chief Minister Chouhan first took office, that the BJP's grip over the state has been challenged. The latest trends are in line with the neck and neck battle predicted in the exit polls for the state, which is also reflected in the close share of votes in the state.
The Congress has garnered 41.3 per cent of the total votes in the state, while 41.4 per cent voters have polled their ballot in favour of the BJP. (ANI)