By: Anamika Pathak | October 18, 2023
As BJP and Congress gear up for the political battle to win Madhya Pradesh, let's revisit 2018 assembly elections and check out some of the dicey seats--where winning margin was below 1000 votes!
1. Gwalior South: Congress' Praveen Pathak had the narrowest winning margin in the 2018 assembly polls. Newcomer Pathak defeated former state minister and BJP leader Narayan Singh Kushwah on the seat he held since 2008, by merely 121 votes. Pathak has retained his ticket from Gwalior South.
2. Kolaras: The Kolaras assembly seat has been making headlines after sitting MLA Birendra Raghuvanshi was denied Congress ticket. Notably, Raghuvanshi won the seat in 2018 elections on BJP's ticket by a thin margin of 720 votes. He joined Congress in September 2023, however team Kamal Nath fielded former Scindia supporter Baijnath Yadav.
3. Bina: BJP legislator Mahesh Rai has often figured in the list of names who might be denied ticket in MP polls due to resentment among voters against them. Rai managed to win the 2018 elections by 632 votes, defeating INC's Shashi Kathoria.
4. Rajnagar: The Rajnagar seat in Chhatarpur district has been a Congress fort since 15 years now and the party has given ticket to MLA Vikram Singh (Nati Raja) for the fourth time as well. However, BJP's Arvind Pateriya lost only by 732 votes. Since both the leaders have retained their tickets, it will be interesting to note whether Pateriya will mange to turn the tables.
5. Damoh: Rahul Singh Lodhi, one of the turncoats of the 2020 Congress defection wave, wrested the Damoh Assembly seat from senior BJP leader Jayant Malaiya by 798 votes. However, Lodhi lost the seat in a bypoll — necessitated by his defection to BJP — to Congress’s Ajay Tandon. Neither BJP nor Congress have announced their candidates from Damoh yet.
6. Jabalpur North: BJP's former MLA Sharad Jain lost to Congress' Vinay Saxena with a margin of just 578 votes in 2018 elections. While BJP is yet to announce its candidate from the seat, Congress has restored faith in named Saxena.
7. Rajpur (ST): One of the hot seats to look forward to in 2023 elections is the Rajgarh seat, where sitting Congress MLA Bala Bachchan will once again fight BJP's Anter Singh Patel--son of former minister Devi Singh Patel. In 2018 polls, the winning margin was of 932 votes only.
8. Jaora: BJP MLA Rajendra Pandey has held the Jaora seat since 2013. However, the legislator is facing anti-incumbency due to pending development works. In 2018 elections, he defeated senior Congress leader KK Singh Kalukheda by only 511 votes. Congress and BJP are yet to announce their candidates.
9. Suwasra: Another Scindia supporter MLA Hardeep Singh Dang won Suwasra in Mandsaur in 2018 elections on Congress ticket by the second narrowest margin of 350 votes against BJP's Radheshyam Patidar. For 2023 elections, Congress has named Rakesh Patidar from the seat. Whether BJP will show faith in Dang remains a question as of now.
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