The stakes are high for both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is seeking a third consecutive term under Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and the Congress which hopes to gain from the anti-incumbency of two terms.
Lead campaigners from both the parties, BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, have toured the state extensively asking people to vote for their parties.
The Congress has been targeting the state government over the lack of development and corruption charges against some ministers.
The BJP is going to the people citing development and social welfare schemes.
The Congress hopes to gain riding on the fact that union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is being projected as its unofficial chief ministerial candidate.
Besides Scindia, who is contesting from Shivpuri against his aunt and BJP candidate Yashodhara Raje, Union Minister Kamal Nath, former chief minister Digvijaya Singh and Ajay Singh, son of former chief minister Arjun Singh, wield considerable influence in their respective areas.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is contesting for the Vidisha and Budhni seats. The state has been a BJP stronghold over the past two assembly elections.
The sons of some powerful political families are also in the fray including Jaivardhan Singh, son of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who is contesting from Raghogarh, and Sachin Yadav, son of former deputy chief minister Subhash Yadav, standing from Kasravad.
In the BJP, Jitendra, son of party general secretary Thawarchand Gehlot, is fighting from Alot.
Meanwhile, for the first time, the none of the above (NOTA) option would be available to the 46,449,289 voters in the state.
In the 2008 polls, the Congress won 71 seats in the 230-member House against 143 of the BJP.
The Bahujan Samaj Party has seven seats, Bharatiya Jan Shakti five, Independents three and others one seat.
--IANS (Posted on 23-11-2013)