Lok Sabha elections 2019: In parched Bundelkhand, BJP hopes to resist Congress challenge
In 2014 polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party won all these seven seats, and bagged 27 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The entire Mahakoshal region of the state and a part of Vindhya region has finished polling.Updated: May 06, 2019, 08:59 IST
Drought-prone Bundelkhand (except Sagar Lok Sabha seat) and parts of Vindhya and Central Madhya Pradesh will go to polls in the fifth phase of the general elections. The state, which began polling in the previous phase, has 29 seats, out of which after May 6, 16 will remain.
In 2014 polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party won all these seven seats, and bagged 27 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The entire Mahakoshal region of the state and a part of Vindhya region has finished polling.
All three seats in Bundelkhand — Tikamgarh, Damoh and Khajuraho — will witness key contests.
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From Tikamgarh, a seat reserved for candidates from the Scheduled Caste categories, union minister of state for women and child welfare Virendra Kumar has locked horns with Congress candidate Kiran Ahirwar.
The former is seeking re-election to the Lok Sabha on a BJP ticket for his seventh consecutive term, and his second from this seat. The Samajwadi Party has fielded an ex-legislator RD Prajapati, who defected to the party from the BJP shortly before the elections.
The Bahujan Samaj Party and SP have forged an alliance in Madhya Pradesh as well, besides Uttar Pradesh.
In Damoh, BJP’s Prahlad Patel is a former union minister who won this seat in 2014. He will face Congress’ Pratap Singh Lodhi, a former MLA who lost the 2018 state elections. The BSP has fielded Jittu Singh Badal, a folk singer.
In Khajuraho, VD Sharma, a functionary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and the state’s BJP general secretary, makes his electoral debut. He takes on Kavita Singh, the Congress candidate, who belongs to a local royal family. She is, at present, the local urban body’s president in Khajuraho. The SP has fielded Veer Singh Patel.
BJP has repeated the candidature of sitting MP Ganesh Singh from Satna who takes on Rajaram Tripathi of the Congress and BSP leader Achchhe Lal Kushwaha.
The BJP performed well in Bundelkhand, Vindhya and Central MP unlike other regions in last year’s state elections, winning 35 out of 55 seats under the seven parliamentary constituencies that poll on Monday. Congress, on the other hand, won 18 seats, while SP and BSP won one each. The Congress has pinned its hope on its new government’s loan waiver scheme for farmers and unemployment allowance for educated youth.
Political analyst Girija Shankar said, “During state assembly elections, the BJP had done well in these parts. It has to be seen if the mood of the public is still in favour of the Opposition or Congress is able to turn the table on the BJP.”