In the recently concluded five-state assembly elections, the closest battle was seen in Madhya Pradesh. Though the Congress won five seats more than the BJP, the contest between the two really went down the wire.
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After various ups and downs in the counting trends throughout the day, BJP and Congress were going neck and neck till the last hour to claim the majority in the 230-member Assembly.
The Congress, which was locked in a tantalising see-saw battle with the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, has emerged as the single-largest party with 114 seats.
The BJP was close behind with 109 seats.
Most of the candidates from both the parties registered comfortable wins in their respective constituencies but the real battle was going in 10 constituencies where the winner was decided by a margin of fewer than 1,000 votes. In seven constituencies the results went in favour of Congress while BJP won three. It was anybody’s game until the last round of counting concluded.
In that 10 constituencies, NOTA (none of the above) played the spoilsport. The confused voters in those constituencies drubbed both the parties and voted for NOTA. Around 14,000-odd votes were polled for NOTA in seven constituencies where BJP lost against Congress in a tight finish.
In all these constituencies, the number of votes polled for NOTA was way higher than the winning margin. In some of these constituencies, NOTA votes were 10 times higher.
If even a small fraction of the NOTA voters had voted for BJP, the party would have come to power for the fourth consecutive term.
First Published: IST