Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakurtwitter

In the earliest leads emerging from the key state of Madhya Pradesh, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the key constituency of Bhopal has established a small lead over her opponent, former chief minister Digvijay Singh of Congress.

The constituency of Bhopal has been held since 1989 by the BJP and represented by prominent personalities like former chief minister Kailash Joshi and Uma Bharati. Sadhvi Pragya's candidature had led to controversy due to allegations against her for being part of terrorist attacks.

The safest seat for the Congress in the entire state, Chhindwara, held by chief minister Kamal Nath since the 1970s, is tilting towards the Congress with his son Nakul Nath having a very slender early lead. Another constituency that managed to withstand the Modi wave of 2014 - Guna - is witnessing a healthy lead for Jyotiraditya Scindia.

In another prominent constituency, Jabalpur, Rakesh Singh, also from the BJP is leading against his closest competitor, former Advocate General of the state during the tenure of Digvijay Singh, Vivek Tankha of Congress.

Singh has been the representative of Jabalpur in the lower house of Parliament since 2004 and has managed to hold on to his party's nomination despite many other candidates getting dumped. Tankha had been close to the Congress Party for a long time before joining it officially. He is the son-in-law of the Ajay Narayan Mushran, former finance minister in Digvijay Singh government. He was also the Additional Solicitor General during UPA regime at the centre and had hoped to unseat his rival after the success of his party in the 2018 Vidhan Sabha elections.

In another important constituency, Vidisha, presently represented by Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who decided to not contest these elections, BJP candidate Ramakant Bhargav is leading. In the last Lok Sabha elections, BJP had won 25 of the 27 seats. Exit polls have suggested the saffron party holding on to its domination.