Business Standard

Madhya Pradesh Assembly Election 2023: Date, schedule, seats, opinion polls

Polling to elect the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly is scheduled for later this year, along with Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram

madhya pradesh election 2023, Madhya pradesh polls, MP election, MP polls

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Nandini Singh New Delhi
Capital: Bhopal
Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Party: Bharatiya Janata Party
Governor: Mangubhai C Patel
Area: 308, 252 sq km
Bird: Indian paradise flycatcher
Flower: Lily
Tree: Banyan

As its name implies—Madhya means "central" and Pradesh means "region" or "state"—it is situated in the heart of the country. The state has no coastline and no international frontier. It is bounded by the states of Uttar Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the southeast, Maharashtra to the south, Gujarat to the southwest, and Rajasthan to the northwest.

It has an area of 308,252 square kilometres and a population of over 72 million, of which males and females are over 37 million and 35 million, respectively.

In 2001, Madhya Pradesh's total population was over 60 million, of which males were 31 million and females were 28 million. The total population growth in this decade was 20.35 per cent, while in the previous decade it was 24.34 per cent. The population of Madhya Pradesh formed 6 per cent of India in 2011. In 2001, the figure was 5.87 per cent.

Also Read: MP election 2023: Congress identifies 106 candidates for upcoming polls

Population of Madhya Pradesh in 2023

The last census of Madhya Pradesh was done in 2011. But we do have a projection of Madhya Pradesh's 2023 population based on the likely population growth rate.

Year 
Projected Population
2011 72,626,809
2021 85,310,000
2022 86,590,000
2023 87,700,000

Population composition

About one-fifth of the people of Madhya Pradesh are officially classified as Scheduled Tribes. Among the most prominent of these tribes are the Bhil, Baiga, Gond, Korku, Kol, Kamar, and Maria. 

Non-scheduled people account for the majority of the remaining four-fifths of the state's population.

Madhya Pradesh's economy

Agriculture

Agriculture in MP mainly depends on rainfall, but some areas have thrived with the help of mechanised cultivation. The Narmada Valley is one of the most fertile regions of Madhya Pradesh. The sharbati wheat that is grown here is exported all over the world.

Madhya Pradesh is also the largest producer of soybeans in India. It is also a significant producer of different varieties of rice. The government of India gave the Chinnar rice brand a geographical indication (GI) tag on September 29, 2021.

Natural resources

Madhya Pradesh is abundant in natural resources, contributing significantly to the state's GDP. It is one of the leaders in mining stones and has the highest number of copper stone reserves in India.

Madhya Pradesh also has one of the largest coal reserves (Madhya Pradesh's coal production was 132.531 million tonnes in 2021).

MP is a major diamond-producing state in the country. This is a key revenue driver for the state. Diamond production in 2019–20 reached 25,603 thousand tonnes. Despite being rich in natural and mineral resources, MP's revenue generation does not justify the availability of resources.

Also Read: Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls: BJP releases first list of 39 candidates

Tourism

Madhya Pradesh is home to remarkable historical sites such as Ujjain (a Hindu sacred city), Khajuraho, etc. Every year, numerous people from all around the world visit these places.

This state also has a wide variety of flora and fauna in different natural parks and wildlife sanctuaries that are distributed throughout the state. Some of these include Orchha, Pench, Pachmarhi, Kanha, and Bandhavgarh. Madhya Pradesh has a total of 25 wildlife sanctuaries and six tiger reserves. The state is home to the highest number of tigers (526 in 2019), and the world's first white tiger was found in Rewa, a district in Madhya Pradesh.

Travel and tourism contributed 10.4 per cent to GDP in 2019. However, this fell to 5.5 per cent in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Manufacturing sector

Madhya Pradesh, being a natural producer of a variety of raw materials, is a great manufacturing hub. It has two auto clusters near Indore and Bhopal, which have become alternate industrial investment destinations for bigger cities like Noida and Gurgaon.

The state is a leader in textile production, automobiles, food processing, engineering, and agricultural equipment manufacturing. Madhya Pradesh has been paving the way to becoming a developed and self-sufficient state due to the advantages of workforce availability.

MP budget 2023

On March 1, 2023, the Madhya Pradesh government presented a Rs 3.14 trillion budget for 2023–24, an increase of 12.5 per cent from the previous year's budget of Rs 2.79 trillion, and is expected to have higher revenue growth of 16 per cent.

Even though the state promised to keep the fiscal deficit at 4.02 per cent of the state gross domestic product (SGDP) in the next financial year, the state's debt would increase to Rs 3.85 trillion by March 31, 2024 because more money would be needed to fund new initiatives announced in the budget. As of March, the state's debt was Rs 3 trillion.

While the government did not announce any new taxes, it kept Rs 1.02 trillion for women's empowerment and welfare.

For the tribal and Dalit communities in the state, Rs 36,950 crore for the tribal sub-plan and Rs 26,087 crore for the caste sub-plan were allocated. In addition to this, Rs 252 crore to provide employment to nomadic tribes was announced.

2023 Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly election

The Madhya Pradesh Assembly election is set to take place later this year. The state is headed for a close election between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

In the last Assembly elections, held in 2018, the Congress swept to power in the state, together with two other states, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. The Congress party had emerged as the single largest party in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly, with 114 seats against the BJP's 109 seats, deposing the saffron party from its 15-year rule.

Congress leader Kamal Nath was sworn in as the state's chief minister in 2018. However, fifteen months later, after being stumped by the rebellion of party colleague Jyodiraditya Scindia, who joined the BJP, and the resignations of 22 Congress MLAs, Kamal Nath stepped down and resigned as chief minister, and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan returned as the state's CM for the fourth time.

Madhya Pradesh's election schedule

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has yet to release the schedule for the Madhya Pradesh elections in 2023. The Model Code of Conduct shall take immediate effect once the ECI releases the election dates. The last elections in Madhya Pradesh in 2018 took place in a single phase for all 230 seats on November 28, 2018. The counting of votes took place on December 11, 2018.

Total seats in the 2023 MP Assembly election 

There are 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh. In the 2018 elections, the Congress received 114 seats, falling short of a 116-seat majority, and the BJP finished a close second with 109 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won two seats, while the Samajwadi Party (SP) won one. Independents gained four seats. Shivraj Singh Chouhan won his traditional Budhni seat by 58,699 votes over Congress candidate Arun Yadav.

In the 2013 assembly elections, the BJP came to power with a massive majority, bagging 166 seats, while Congress and BSP won 58 and four seats, respectively.

Parties ramp up poll preparations

With the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections just months away, the BJP is ratcheting up its preparations, with a focus on numerous welfare initiatives implemented by the Chouhan-led government. As part of its electoral strategy in MP, the BJP is trying to ensure that in tougher seats, particularly tribal areas and constituencies where the Congress typically has a stronghold.

In a first, the BJP announced candidates for 39 seats in the state, which it had lost in the previous assembly elections. The list included 21 reserved constituencies—13 ST seats and eight SC seats—as well as five women candidates. The Bahujan Samaj Party, which is also in the fray, has named seven candidates in its first list, while the Samajwadi Party has declared candidates for four constituencies in Bundelkhand and Gwalior-Chambal regions.

Meanwhile, Congress has also promised to slash LPG prices to Rs 500, provide 100 units of free electricity, and revive the old pension scheme if it comes to power in the state. The grand old party has also promised to conduct a caste census in Madhya Pradesh after winning the 2023 Madhya Pradesh elections.

"I promise that when Congress comes into power, farmers will have debt relief. LPG will be available for Rs 500. Women will get Rs 1,500 per month. For government workers, the old pension scheme will be implemented. Till 100 units, no electricity bill. We will also have a caste census in the state. Now we have six backward-class people on our working committee," Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said.

CM candidates for the MP assembly election 2023

While it is unknown who would be the CM candidates for the BJP, Congress, BSP, Samajwadi Party, and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), former Chief Minister Kamal Nath's name is being floated for the Congress.

Rajya Sabha MP and former chief minister Digvijaya Singh had stated that the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections will be fought under the leadership of state Congress president Kamal Nath, who will be the CM's face.

On the other hand, Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah said that the party will decide on the Madhya Pradesh chief minister's post only after the elections, appearing to sidestep questions on whether the incumbent, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, will continue in the post.

"“Shivraj ji remains the chief minister now and the party is in election [mode]. Party will do its job. My request to you all [journalists] is take whatever has happened under the leadership of [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi ji and Shivraj ji to the people so that the development agenda is set for the election,” he said.
 
Opinion polls for MP Assembly elections

Four opinion polls conducted for the Madhya Pradesh elections have predicted contradictory outcomes for the political parties. While two forecast a convincing victory for the Congress, two predict a repeat of the BJP government led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The magic number to form a government is 116.

According to the ABP-CVoter survey, the Congress is expected to win 108–120 of the 230 seats, while the BJP is expected to end with a score of 106–118. Another pre-election poll conducted by IBC24 indicates that the Congress would come out on top with 119 seats, while the BJP may end up with 101 seats, down from 109 in 2018.

Meanwhile, a Times Now poll shows that the BJP is expected to gain a landslide majority with 153 seats in the 230-member Assembly, while the Congress may only get 58. The pre-poll survey by News Nation also suggests a similar outcome, with the BJP registering a staggering majority in the key Hindi heartland state.

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Aug 30 2023 | 1:36 PM IST

Explore News