Lok Sabha elections 2019: CM’s, ex-CM’s sons to try their luck on 6 seats in MP
The son of chief minister Kamal Nath, former chief minister Arjun Singh, the BJP’s state unit president and a lawyer are among those in the fray in the six seats that go to polls in Madhya Pradesh in the fourth phase on April 29.
More than 10 million voters will decide the fate of 108 candidates in the parliamentary constituencies of Sidhi, Shahdol, Mandla, Jabalpur, Balaghat and Chhindwara.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the Congress had won only Chhindwara and lost the other five seats to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, the Congress is taking heart from its last year’s assembly election win when it got 21 of the 38 seats in Mahakoshal region while the BJP bagged 17. Five of the six parliamentary constituencies voting on April 29 come under the Mahakoshal region.
In Sidhi, which falls in the Vindhya region of the central state, the Congress had won only one and the BJP seven of the eight seats.
This year, the BJP is depending on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the issue of nationalism under his rule, while the Congress is harping on the PM’s broken promises and lack of economic development in the region, except Chhindwara, due to the misrule of the ruling dispensation at the Centre.
However, in the two tribal seats of Shahdol and Mandla and to a certain extent in Balaghat issues of tribal rights have also figured in the election campaign.
“The candidate is secondary in Mahakoshal. We are banking on Modi’s charisma and good work to get votes,” the BJP’s Jabalpur district president Gajanand Pancheshwar said.
Congress party spokesperson Shobha Oza said, “Our main election plank is ‘nyay’ (justice) and the ‘anyay’ (injustice) of the five years of the BJP’s rule at the Centre and 15 years in the state.”
Congress candidate Nakul Ntah, son of CM Kamal Nath, takes on the BJP’s Natan Shah in the high-profile Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat. Junior Nath is aiming to retain the seat his father has won nine times since 1980.
Congress party’s Ajay Singh, son of former chief minister late Arjun Singh, is pitted against the BJP’s Riti Pathak in Sidhi. In Jabalpur, the BJP state president Rakesh Singh is up against Congress candidate and well-known advocate Vivek Tankha.
In Shahdol, a seat reserved for candidates from Scheduled Tribes, Congress has fielded Pramila Singh against Himadri Singh of the BJP. Himadri Singh recently defected from the Congress party to the BJP.
In Mandla, also a reserved seat for Scheduled Tribe members, Kamal Marawi of the Congress is pitted against the BJP’s Faggan Singh Kulaste. Kulaste was a junior minister in the Modi government. In Balaghat, Madhu Bhagat of Congress is against the BJP’s Dhal Singh Bisen.
Madhya Pradesh, which sends 29 members to the Lok Sabha will witness polling during the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh phases of the Lok Sabha election 2019. The votes will be counted on May 23.