Ahead of the counting of votes in 28 Assembly segments in Madhya Pradesh where bypolls were held on November 3, both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress have stepped up their activities.
Apart from holding meetings, leadership of both the parties are also meeting MLAs in their respective camps and strategising for the scenarios once the counting of voting ends on November 10.
The by-elections in 25 of the 28 seats in the 230-member Assembly on November 3 were necessitated due to the resignations of Congress MLAs who later joined the BJP. They are in the fray as BJP candidates in 25 seats. In the remaining three segments, bypolls were necessitated due to the demise of sitting legislators.
At present, of the total 201 segments which are represented in the Assembly, the BJP has 107 MLAs, Congress 87, Independents four, two BSP, and one SP. So, while the BJP needs to win only eight more seat, the Congress will still be short by one MLA in case it wins all 28 seats for which bypolls were held.
The team led by former Chief Minister Kamal Nath is mulling the way ahead if the Congress manages to win around 20 seats. So, a channel of communication has been opened with the Independents, BSP and SP MLAs by Congress leaders.
The Congress is also hoping that in case the BJP fails to garner seats many more than a simple majority, it may face a revolt which can benefit the opposition party.
On the other hand, the BJP is hopeful of not only bagging eight more seats in the bypolls, but also the support of the BSP and SP MLAs.
While two Independent MLAs have already pledged support to the BJP government led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan, one Independent legislator Surender Singh Shera and BSP MLA Sanjiv Kushwaha met Minister Bhupendra Singh on Friday. Kushwaha said that the BJP government had his support, adding that he met the Minister regarding development in his Assembly constituency.
Political analyst Saji Thomas said that the bypolls were important as they could make or break the state government.