Former Congress MLA from Maihar, Narayan Tripathi on Wednesday filed his nomination papers as the BJP candidate from the assembly segment where by-elections are slated to be held on February 13.
In a show of strength, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan were present in the room of the returning officer when the nomination papers were submitted.
The state BJP election committee had unanimously proposed Narayan Tripathi’s name as the candidate for the Maihar by-polls when the committee met on Monday. While it was not clear whether the party’s central election committee had cleared Tripathi’s name -- as is the norm -- Tripathi went ahead and filed his nomination as Wednesday was the last day for doing so.
Tripathi had quit the Congress to join the BJP, necessitating the by-elections.
Fresh from its victory in the Ratlam Jhabua Lok Sabha bye polls, the Congress is working hard in the Maihar by-polls as well, especially since the former leader of opposition and state minister Ajay Singh has termed it a prestige contest for him. Singh had held Tripathi responsible for his defeat by a narrow margin in the Satna Lok Sabha seat in the 2014 general elections.
After the submission of nomination papers, the CM and state BJP president campaigned for Tripathi and accompanied him in a mass contact program in the constituency. The CM is expected to intensify his campaign in the constituency in the coming days.
The contest in Maihar is between the BJP’s Narayan Tripathi and the Congress’s Manish Patel. However, with former two-term BSP MLA from neighbouring Rampur Baghelan constituency, Ramlakhan Patel also contesting, the election has turned into a triangular contest.