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Madhya Pradesh elections: Will the strong undercurrent of disunity hurt the Congress?

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Bhopal, Oct 15: Will Shivraj Singh Chouhan be able to retain Madhya Pradesh for the BJP again? Battling anti-incumbency and farmer related issues, the battle for MP, one of India's largest states would be a closely fought contest.

The Congress looks to be in a better position this time, when compared to the 2013 elections. But will that be enough to take on Chouhan.

Madhya Pradesh elections: Will the strong undercurrent of disunity hurt the Congress?

Political scientist, Dr. Sandeep Shastri tells OneIndia that the battle at Madhya Pradesh has always been a straight forward one. It has traditionally been a battle between the BJP and Congress always.

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What would be interesting to see is the role that the BSP may play. The BSP is emerging and has always been a fringe player in the state, Dr. Shastri says. While at first it looked that the Congress may take the state with ease, some of the calculations have gone haywire for the party after it failed to forge an alliance with the BSP, he says.

This according to me will help the BJP to a certain extent. If the Congress had managed to bring in an anti-BJP front, then it could have emerged as a very strong force in MP.

The other factor that is impacting the Congress according to Dr. Shastri is the undercurrent of disunity within the party. They do not seem to be pulling together in MP and this is a huge challenge for the party, he says.

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The BJP on the other hand is a united front in MP. For the BJP however the anti-incumbency factor would be a concern. To beat it, the BJP would first divide the opposition. The second advantage for the BJP would be the fact that the Congress is a divided house. These are factors according to me that will work in favour of the BJP, Dr. Shastri says.

The Congress on the other hand feels that the decision not to ally with the BSP will have no impact. Jyotiraditya Scindia said the party is "still in the driver's seat" and in touch with all "possible partners" in the poll-bound state.

Madhya Pradesh elections: Will the strong undercurrent of disunity hurt the Congress?

Scindia, who is spearheading the Congress campaign in Madhya Pradesh, also said the entire state leadership and party cadre was "working cohesively" to chart out the party's plan to dislodge the BJP government after "14 years of misrule".

Also Read | Madhya Pradesh elections: Unfazed by BSP ditch, Congress still in driver's seat

Replying to a query about a possible tie-up with the Samajwadi Party and the Gondwana Gantantra Party after Bahujan Samaj Party's decision to not align with the Congress in the state, Scindia said, "We are in touch with all possible partners -- our ultimate goal is to beat the Bharatiya Janata Party. We are not currently ruling out the possibility of an alliance."

Elections in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 28, while counting will take place on December 11. There are 230 assembly seats in MP and the magic number is 116.

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