Vote counting in the elections to five states has thrown up some remarkable results, both at the macro and micro levels, examples being Congress' Rameshwar Dudi losing in Nokha despite his party being heavily tipped to win the state, Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla losing both seats he contested, the much-hyped Maha Katumi (Cong-TDP alliance) being decimated by a rampant TRS in Telangana, the Congress humbling 3-term CM Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and many more. Among these comes another, from Madhya Pradesh, where at the time of writing, the BJP isn't being routed in Mandsaur despite all that's happened in the district in the last two years.
Till 5.22 pm on Tuesday, the BJP is leading in 101 of the 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, while the Congress is leading in 119 seats and is likely to form a government.
However, in Mandsaur district, which has four assembly seats, the BJP has taken a comfortable lead over the Congress in two seats and is only marginally trailing in the other two.
In Mallargarh and the eponymous constituency of Mandsaur, the BJP is winning by over 10,000 votes each at the time of writing, while in Garoth and Suwasra it is trailing the Congress by less than a thousand votes each. All four seats had been won by the BJP in 2013
Last June, Mandsaur was witness to a tense unrest following five farmers dying in police firing during a protest over crop prices turning violent. A day later, a local factory was torched by protesters. At that time, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had led the Congress' attempts to head to Mandsaur despite Section 144 being imposed. Arriving by air from New Delhi, he had first taken a car and then a bike in order to make to Mandsaur, though he eventually failed to do so. After him, Jyotiraditya Scindia also attempted to reach Mandsaur, again arriving by flight, then riding on top of a truck.
The incident prompted Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan to announce a compensation package for families of deceased farmers, followed by a new price support scheme for pulses and oilseeds.
A year later, Rahul Gandhi staged a rally to mark the first anniversary of the farmer protests to highlight agrarian distress as one of the key factors in this election. For that rally, special permission had to be sought, including various conditions being placed. However, it appears that Rahul Gandhi's stratagems haven't succeeded in convincing the Mandsaur voters.
Meanwhile, even as Madhya Pradesh hangs in the balance, in other states, the results are more clear. As mentioned above, KCR is all set to remain Telangana Chief Minister by completely routing the Congress-TDP 'Maha Kutami'. In Mizoram, the MNF has a big lead as per trends, with the ruling Congress being reduced to single digits in the 40-seat assembly. In Chhattisgarh, as mentioned above, the Congress has won, with Raman Singh conceding defeat. And in Rajasthan too, it is the Congress that is currently on top, though not by the margin that a number of pollsters had predicted.