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199 candidates for first phase of polls in MP

india Updated: Apr 09, 2009 10:51 IST

IANS
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A total of 199 candidates will slug it out in the first round of elections to 13 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh on April 23, poll officials said on Thursday.

Thirty politicians withdrew their candidature Wednesday, the last date of withdrawal of nominations for the first phase, leaving 199 in the poll fray.

There was no withdrawal at the Sidhi Lok Sabha seat, putting at rest all speculations about Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh's daughter Veena Singh bowing out of the contest.

Congress veteran Arjun Singh has publicly expressed his disappointment because Veena Singh was not nominated by the party. She has entered the fray as an independent candidate.

Officials said Chhindwara, the constituency with the least number of voters in the state, has 28 candidates - the maximum in the state. Union minister Kamal Nath is a candidate from Chhindwara. It is followed by Bhopal with 23 candidates and Satna with 22.

There are 18 candidates from Balaghat, 16 from Betul, 15 each from Khajuraho and Rewa, 14 from Mandla, 11 each from Jabalpur and Sidhi, 10 from Hoshangabad and eight each from Vidisha and Shahdol.

In the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state, voters in 16 constituencies will exercise their franchise April 30.