After its bitter experience with the Congress over seat sharing in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party is contesting on its own in Madhya Pradesh and has fielded candidates in 18 out of the total 29 Lok Sabha seats there for the ongoing general elections.
Out of these, SP has fielded five candidates in the Bundelkhand region, where it hopes to capture some seats, as the region borders Uttar Pradesh, and covers certain portions of Madhya Pradesh also. SP general secretary Amar Singh on April 25 toured Chhatarpur, Khajuraho and Tikamgarh to garner support for his candidates there along with Sanjay Dutt and Manoj Tiwari.
The party has fielded Chintaman Kori from Tikamgarh and Yashwant Singh from Khajuraho. The senior SP leader along with Dutt and Tiwari, campaigned for them during the whole of Saturday before leaving for Kolkata later that evening.
A senior Madhya Pradesh SP leader told PTI that after the party’s dismal performance in the December 2008 assembly elections, when it could manage to win only one seat out of the 230 assembly seats, SP would be looking to open its account in the Lok Sabha elections in the state. Incidentally in the 2003 assembly elections in MP, SP had managed to win an impressive tally of eight seats.
However, last year just before the assembly polls, four of its MLAs had defected to Congress, a development that had created a lot of bad blood between SP and Congress.