Thursday, November 30, 2023

Madhya Pradesh assembly polls: Congress fields 69 sitting MLAs in first list of 144 candidates

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The opposition Congress has given tickets to 69 sitting legislators in the first list of its 144 candidates announced on Sunday for the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls scheduled next month.

State Congress president and former chief minister Kamal Nath has been fielded from his home turf Chhindwara, from where he is currently the legislator.Polls to the 230-member state assembly will be held on November 17.

The Congress has repeated many of the sitting MLAs in the first list released on Sunday.

It has fielded Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh’s son Jaivardhan Singh from Raghogarh and brother Lakshman Singh from Chachoura in Guna, both sitting legislators.

The leader of Opposition in the state assembly Dr Govind Singh has been fielded from Lahar constituency in Bhind district.

The Congress has fielded actor Vikram Mastal against Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Budhni in Sehore district.

Mastal has played the role of Lord Hanuman in a TV serial.Former BJP MP Bodh Singh Bhagat, who recently joined the Congress, has been fielded from Katangi in Balaghat district.

The first list of Congress candidates also includes former ministers Ajay Singh (Churhat), Ramnivas Rawat (Vijaypur), Lakhan Singh Yadav (Bhitarwar), Harsh Yadav (Deori), Mukesh Nayak (Pawai), Kamleshwar Patel (Sihawal), Lakha Ghanghoriya (Jabalpur-East), Tarun Bhanot (Jabalpur-West), Omkar Singh Markam (Dindori), Sukhdev Panse (Multai), Sajjan Singh Verma (Sonkatch), Vijay Laxmi Sadho (Maheshwar), Sachin Yadav (Kasrawad), Bala Bachchan (Rajpur), Jitu Patwari (Rau), Priyavrat Singh (Khilchipur) and Narendra Nahta (Manasa).

They served as ministers either during the previous Kamal Nath government or the Digvijaya Singh-led regime of the Congress in the state earlier.

In Bhopal district, the Congress has fielded Manoj Shukla from Narela seat, sitting MLA Arif Masood from Bhopal Central and Jaishri Harikiran from Berasia.

In Indore city, the Congress has given a ticket to sitting MLA Sanjay Shukla from the Indore-1 seat, where the BJP has fielded its national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.

The Congress has fielded Chintamani Choukse Chintu from Indore-2 and Raja Mandhwani from Indore-4.

The ruling BJP has so far announced the names of its 136 candidates, including seven Lok Sabha members.

These include three Union ministers – Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Singh Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste.

In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress won 114 seats in the 230-member House and formed a coalition government under veteran leader Kamal Nath with the support of the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and independent MLAs.

The Nath government, however, collapsed after 15 months when a section of Congress MLAs, most of them loyal to Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, quit the party and joined the BJP.

The saffron party returned to power in March 2020 with Shivraj Singh Chouhan taking over as chief minister for a record fourth term.

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