As Madhya Pradesh goes to polls, all eyes will be on 29 key assembly seats, out of the total 230, where the contest will be keenly watched.
These include seats held by four-time Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the Bharatiya Janata Party and state Congress president Kamal Nath.
Following are the 29 key seats to watch out for:
Represented by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan since 2006, when he won it in a bypoll for the first time.
Situated on the banks of the river Narmada, Budhni in Sehore district remains Chouhan's pocket borough. The BJP stalwart won the seat for his party in 2008, 2013 and 2018 assembly elections.
Chouhan defeated former Union minister and Congress leader Arun Yadav by a margin of 58,999 votes in the last assembly polls to retain his bastion.
Nine-time Congress MP Kamal Nath won his maiden assembly election from his home turf Chhindwara in a bypoll in May 2019 after becoming CM in December 2018.
Nath had won the seat, vacated by his party colleague Deepak Saxena, by a margin of more than 25,800 votes to remain CM.
The assembly segment is part of the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat which Nath has won a record nine times in his decades-long political career. In 2013, the assembly seat was won by the BJP, while in 2008, it was bagged by Saxena for the Congress.
With the BJP fielding Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar from Dimni assembly constituency in Morena district, the election to this seat becomes more interesting as Tomar is seen as a strong contender for the chief minister's post.
In the 2018 assembly polls, Girraj Dandotiya won from Dimni by a margin of over 18,000 votes. He later switched over to the BJP and contested the 2020 bypoll from the seat on the saffron party's ticket, but lost to Congress candidate Ravindra Singh Tomar Bhidosa.
The BJP has fielded strong OBC leader and Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel from Narsinghpur assembly constituency in the Narsinghpur district, in place of sitting MLA and his younger brother Jalam Singh Patel, who represented the seat in 2013 and 2018.
Jalam Singh won the 2013 polls by a margin of over 48,000 votes. In 2018, he retained the seat with a reduced margin of over 14,000 votes.
Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste is the BJP's candidate from Niwas assembly seat in Mandla district.
Kulaste is a well known tribal leader of the BJP and is also seen as a contender for the chief minister's post.
Niwas is currently represented by the Congress's Dr Ashok Marskole, who won the 2018 polls by a margin of over 28,000 votes.
The BJP has fielded its senior leader and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya from Indore-1 seat.
The constituency is currently represented by Congress's Sanjay Shukla, who won the 2018 polls by a margin of over 8,000 votes.
The BJP won the seat in the 2008 and 2013 polls and now the party aims to wrest it from the Congress by fielding Vijayvargiya, a strong leader from Malwa-Nimar region.
Chief ministerial hopeful and current home minister Dr Narottam Mishra has represented Datia in the assembly since 2008.
However, he won the 2018 polls with a narrow margin of just over 2,600 votes with former MLA and senior Congress leader Rajendra Bharti giving him a tough fight.
The red ’tilak' sporting firebrand BJP minister often remains in news for his controversial statements.
Leader of Opposition in the assembly Dr Govind Singh of the Congress has remained undefeated from the Lahar assembly seat in Bhind district in the Chambal division since 1990.
A loyalist of former chief minister and Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh, Govind Singh won the seat for the seventh time in 2018 with a margin of more than 9,000 votes.
Represented in the assembly by state forest minister and popular tribal leader Vijay Shah since 2008, Harsud in Khandwa district faced the agony of being dislocated from its original place because of construction of the Indira Sagar Dam on the Narmada river.
But the dam's backwater created a lot of scenic islands, boosting tourism in the region.
BJP leader Shah won the ST-reserved seat in the 2018 polls by a margin of more than 18,900 votes.
Sanwer in Indore district is currently represented in the assembly by state irrigation minister Tulsi Silawat, who is a loyalist of Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Silawat quit as a Congress MLA and minister in the Kamal Nath government in 2020 and joined the BJP along with Scindia.
Silawat won from Sanwer in 2008 and 2018 elections as the Congress candidate. After switching sides, he bagged the seat in a 2020 bypoll as a BJP candidate by a margin of more than 53,264 votes.
A renowned Buddhist tourist place, Sanchi in Raisen district is the assembly constituency of state health minister Dr Prabhuram Choudhary, who is a loyalist of Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Choudhary resigned as an MLA and minister in the Congress government in 2020 and joined the BJP.
He won the 2020 bypoll with an enhanced margin of 63,809 votes as compared to 2018, which was the highest winning gap for any candidate in the by-elections held that year. Choudhary had won Sanchi in 2008 and 2018 on a Congress ticket.
Currently represented in the assembly by state energy minister Pradhuman Singh Tomar of the BJP. He was one of the rebel Congress MLAs and Jyotiraditya Scindia camp members who switched sides in March 2020.
Tomar quit as a Congress MLA and minister in 2020 and joined the BJP and won the subsequent bypoll from Gwalior by a margin of more than 33,000 votes. He had won from Gwalior in 2018 and 2008 as the Congress candidate.
Surkhi in Sagar district is represented in the assembly by state transport and revenue minister Govind Singh Rajput, a key member of the Jyotiraditya Scindia camp.
One of the rebel Congress MLAs, he quit as a minister in 2020 and joined the BJP. He won the subsequent bypoll from Surkhi by a margin of more than 40,900 votes.
Rajput had emerged victorious from Surkhi in 2018, 2008 and 2003 as the Congress candidate.
This assembly seat in Dhar district is currently held by another Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist and industries minister Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon, who quit the Congress and switched over to the BJP in 2020 along with rebel MLAs.
Dattigaon won the subsequent bypoll from the seat on a BJP ticket with a margin of more than 32,100 votes. His entry into the BJP led to the exit of veteran saffron leader and former MLA Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat, who joined the Congress recently.
Dattigaon had won from Badnawar on a Congress ticket in 2003, 2008 and 2018.
Bamori in Guna district is represented in the assembly by state panchayati raj and rural development minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia.
Like other Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalists, he, too, quit as a Congress MLA and joined the BJP more than three years ago. Sisodia won the 2020 bypoll with a margin of more than 53,100 votes, which was double the victory gap by which he had bagged the seat for the Congress in 2018.
Sisodia won the seat in 2013 also as the Congress candidate.
A small erstwhile princely town, Raghoharh in Guna district is the family turf of former chief minister Digvijaya Singh.
At present, Raghogarh is represented in the assembly by Digvijaya Singh's son and former minister Jaivardhan Singh of the Congress.
The seat has remained confined to the Digvijaya Singh family or to their loyalists.
Jaivardhan Singh won the 2018 polls from Raghogarh as the Congress candidate with a margin of more than 46,600 votes. He had also won his maiden assembly election from here in 2013.
Digvijaya Singh's electoral career began from this seat in 1977.
The Congress veteran, a two-term former CM, won from Raghogarh four times -- in 1977, 1980, 1998 and 2003. His brother Lakshman Singh bagged the seat in 1990 and 1993 polls.
Churhat in Sidhi district is considered a stronghold of former Congress chief minister and ex-Union minister late Arjun Singh. His son Ajay Singh, popularly known as ’Rahul Bhaiya’ among his supporters, represented this traditional family seat for a long period, including in 2008 and 2013.
However, in 2018, BJP's Shardendu Tiwari wrested the seat from Congress leader Ajay Singh by a margin of more than 6,400 votes.
Another important constituency in Sidhi district is Sihawal, currently represented in the assembly by first-time Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Kamleshwar Patel. Sihawal is the traditional seat of the Patel family.
Kamleshwar Patel is the son of former minister Inderjeet Patel, who was a loyalist of late Arjun Singh. Kamleshwar Patel won from Sihawal in 2018 on a Congress ticket by a margin of more than 31,500 votes. He had bagged the seat in 2013 too.
Currently held by prominent tribal leader and Madhya Pradesh food and civil supplies minister Bisahulal Singh, who quit the Congress and joined the BJP in 2020 along with Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. He later won the seat on a BJP ticket in a bypoll.
Anuppur is a tribal-dominated district and Singh emerged victorious from here in 2018 and also in 2008 on a Congress ticket.
Currently represented in the assembly by Samajwadi Party leader-turned-BJP member Narayan Tripathi.
This temple town was recently declared as a new district by the Chouhan government, fulfilling a long-pending demand of Tripathi.
He won from Maihar in Satna district as the BJP candidate in 2018 with a narrow margin of just over 2,900 votes. As the SP candidate in 2003, he had bagged the seat with a margin of more than 13,100 votes.
Traditional seat of Gwalior's erstwhile royal family members, Shivpuri is currently represented in the assembly by MP sports and youth welfare and technical education minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia.
The BJP leader won the poll in 2018 with a margin of over 28,700 votes. She has represented Shivpuri for a long time and was elected from the family's home turf in 1998, 2003 and 2013 also.
She recently expressed her unwillingness to contest the upcoming assembly polls in the state citing health reasons.
Currently represented by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's younger brother Lakshman Singh, who joined the BJP when his elder brother was the chief minister of the state (1993-2003), but later came back to the Congress.
He won the 2018 polls from Chachoda with a margin of more than 9,700 votes.
The younger Singh was elected as MP from the Rajgarh Lok Sabha seat as the Congress candidate in 1996, 1998 and 1999 and in 2004 on a BJP ticket.
However, he lost to Congress candidate Narayan Singh Amlabe in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls after which he came back to the Congress fold.
Held by Madhya Pradesh medical education minister Vishvas Sarang. He won from Narela in Bhopal district in 2008, 2013 and 2018.
Sarang was instrumental in taking the number of government medical colleges in the state from five in 2003 to 24 in 2023 and also played a major role in launching medical education in Hindi medium. The BJP leader won the 2018 poll from Narela with a margin of more than 23,100 votes.
Represented by BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya's son Akash Vijayvargiya. The junior Vijayvargiya won from Indore-3 by a margin of more than 5,700 votes by defeating Congress candidate Ashwin Joshi in 2018.
Another constituency in Indore which is a stronghold of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. The seat is currently represented by his loyalist Ramesh Mendola, who won the 2018 polls with a margin of more than 71,000 votes, which was highest in the state that year.
Mendola won from Indore-2 in 2008 and 2013 too. Kailash Vijayvargiya represented this seat in the assembly from 1993 to 2003.
Represented by former minister and senior Congress leader Jitu Patwari, who is considered close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Rau, which is in Indore district, is famous for street snacks, especially its mouth-watering roadside kachoris.
Patwari won from Rau in 2013 and retained the seat in 2018 when he went on to become a minister in the Congress government led by Kamal Nath. However, the Nath government lasted for only 15 months and collapsed in March 2020.
27. UJJAIN SOUTH
This urban constituency in the temple town of Mahakal, which is one of the prominent Jyotirlings, is represented by state higher education minister Dr Mohan Yadav, who won the seat with a margin of more than 18,900 votes in 2018. The BJP leader was elected from the constituency in 2013 too.
Represented by state finance minister Jagdish Dewda, Malhargarh is situated in Mandsaur district that borders Rajasthan.
Dewda won the 2018 polls with a margin of more than 11,800 votes. The senior BJP leader was elected to the assembly from Malhargarh in 2008 and 2013 also.
Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Kantilal Bhuria wrested the tribal-dominated Jhabua assembly seat from the BJP in a 2019 bypoll by a margin of more than 27,800 votes.
The bypoll was necessitated in Jhabua as the sitting BJP MLA Guman Singh Damor quit the seat to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
Bhuria has represented the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat for a long time from 1998 to 2009 and also in 2015.