BHOPAL : The three-month long battle between the BJP and the Congress, settled with the polling taking place on Mungawali and Kolaras seats.  These by-polls, which have become prestige point for chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, are taken as semi-finals of power politics.

These by-polls have turned out to be a contest between Chouhan and Scindia, rather than a fight between the BJP and the Congress. Both the leaders have used their clout in these by-polls. The state cabinet, leaving all works aside for the past fifteen days, was involved in campaigning in the by-polls. The state had witnessed several such by-polls in the past when political temperature had risen high.

Budhni by-polls

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, after becoming chief minister in 2005, contested from Budhni in 2006. Congress had fielded former minister Rajkumar Patel in these by-polls. The Election Commission, on the complaint of Congress about violation of code of conduct, had extended the polling date. Chouhan did ‘Padyatra’ in whole Budhni constituency and won the by-polls by a margin of more than 36,000 votes.

Bada Malhara by-polls

These by-polls took place after former chief minister Uma Bharati quitting BJP in 2006 and resigning from its membership. These by-polls were a prestige point for BJP against Uma’s party named Bhartiya Janshakti Party. BJP had fielded Kapurchand Ghuvara, who earlier was a leftist against Rekha Yadav of Bharatiya Janshakti Party. These by-polls witnessed violence but BJP’s Ghuwara managed to won the seat by a margin of around 5000 votes.

Kharsia by-polls

Arjun Singh, after assuming the charge of chief minister in 1988, contested from Kharsia of Rajgarh district, considering it to be a stronghold of Congress party.  The BJP fielded influential leader Dilip Singh Judeo from this seat. Singh had to work hard to win these by-polls. It is said that the whole government had left its routine work and was doing campaigning for its party candidate. Singh had won these by-polls by a margin of 7000 votes.

Chhindwara by-polls

Kamalnath got by-polls for Chhindwara Loksabha in 1997 by getting his wife resigned. BJP had fielded former chief minister Sunderlal Patwa against Kamal Nath in these by-polls. It was the first election when Kamal Nath lost any election in his political career. These by-polls had witnessed both the parties devoting its all energies but finally Patwa won by a margin of more than 37,000 votes.

Betul by-polls

These by-polls were held in April 2008 on Betul Loksabha constituency with the passing away of Vijay Khandelwal. BJP was continuously losing by-polls prior to Assembly elections of 2008. BJP had fielded Hemant Khandelwal while Congress had launched Sukhdev Panse as their candidates. The by-poll turned more into a contest between Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Kamal Nath then between the two candidates. BJP had won these by-polls by a margin of more than 35,000 votes. The win in these by-polls also helped BJP in developing a conducive environment for it for further victories in Assembly polls.

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