As campaigning heats up in Madhya Pradesh, which goes to polls on November 17, the two main parties in the fray—the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and Congress—are trying their best to win over SC and ST voters as the reserved seats in the state are highly crucial to form the government and can play a decisive role.
As per the 2011 census, SCs constitute 15.6 per cent and STs 21.1 per cent of the state’s 7.26 crore population. There are a total of 82 reserved seats in the state, 47 for the Scheduled Tribe and 35 for the Scheduled Caste, out of the total 230 seats.
With the reserved seats accounting for almost more than one-third of the total seats in the state, it becomes important for parties to win in these seats.
In the last Assembly elections in 2018, Congress performed better in the reserved seats which gave them an edge over the BJP. Of the total 82 reserved seats of the state, Congress won 47 while the BJP could only win 34.
Out of the 47 reserved seats for STs, Congress performed extremely well to win 30 seats, more than half of the total and the BJP was reduced to 16 seats, just 34 per cent of the total seats.
In the 35 reserved seats for SCs, both the national parties saw a neck and neck contest that ended with an almost equal split—Congress won 17 while the BJP secured 18.
The results for the November 17 elections will be declared on December 3 and are expected to have important political ramifications, with the Lok Sabha polls scheduled for next year.
(Published 11 November 2023, 12:07 IST)