Given the high stakes, the contest has all the ingredients of a full-fledged election, with BJP and Congress bigwigs crisscrossing the state in choppers, mammoth public rallies and roadshows being organised despite the pandemic, and even the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which usually does not contest by-polls, putting up candidates.
That the results will make or mar the fortunes of the principal parties for at least the next three years is not lost on either side. On the face of it, holding on to power appears to be easier for the BJP. With 107 MLAs in the 230-member assembly, it needs only nine more seats for a simple majority on its own. The Congress, which lost power in March with the defection of Jyotiraditya Scindia and his loyalist MLAs, must win all 28 seats to get a simple majority on its own. The party’s current strength in the assembly is 88.
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October 26, 2020