The Bharatiya Janata Party bagged one Lok Sabha and two Assembly seats in the bypolls in Madhya Pradesh, setting alarm bells ringing for the Congress.

The BJP has retained Khandwa LS seat and wrested Jobat (ST) and Prithivpur seats from the Congress. However, the Congress wrested Raigaon (SC) Assembly seat from the BJP.

Though there have been big gains for CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, there is some cause for worry as the BJP’s 2019 victory margin of nearly 2.75 lakh votes in Khandwa has shrunk to 50,000.

The Congress’s triple loss is the worst news for the Opposition after the Kamal Nath government fell in March 2020. Prithvipur and Jobat were last represented by Brajendra Singh Rathore and Kalawati Bhuria respectively.

The party’s win in Raigaon after 31 years is the only good news. Political observers attribute this victory to the absence of Bahujan Samaj Party here. In the 2018 Assembly elections, the party won just six seats from the Vindhya region. The region comprises 30 Assembly seats from Rewa, Satna, Singrauli, Sidhi and Anuppur, Shahdol districts.

The Congress has been facing one electoral defeat after another in Madhya Pradesh over the last year. The BJP won 19 out of 28 seats in the November 2020 bypolls, thanks to former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined the party with his supporters, necessitating the bypolls.

Delighted with the outcome, Mr. Chouhan, in a statement said, “the results have been pleasant and encouraging for the BJP”.

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