Campaigning for 8 LS seats in MP ends, polling on May 19

Campaigning for eight Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh, which go to polls on May 19, ended at 5pm Friday.

Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Ratlam, Dhar, Indore, Khargone and Khandwa are the eight seats, all currently held by the BJP.

Former Union ministers Kantilal Bhuria, Arun Yadav are in the fray from Ratlam and Khandwa, the latter seeing a tough fight between Yadav and ex-MP BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan.

Meenakshi Natarajan, once a lieutenant of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, is trying her luck again from Mandsaur, after being defeated in 2014.

At the centre of the campaigning has been the Congress-led government's farm loan waiver scheme, which has been debunked by the opposition BJP in the state.

Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the issue at his rallies and said the Kamal Nath government in MP was sending police and recovery notices to farmers rather than writing off their loans.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had hit back by claiming the loan waiver had benefited several lakh farmers and even showed papers at rallies to prove that loans of ex-chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother Rohit and nephew Niranjan had been written off.

AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also campaigned and managed to draw good crowds in Ujjain, Ratlam and Indore.

Eighty-two candidates are in the fray in the eight seats, comprising six in Dewas, nine in Ujjain, 13 in Mandsaur, nine in Ratlam, seven in Dhar, 20 in Indore, seven in Khargone and 11 in Khandwa.

Out of the total 29 seats in MP, election in the first phase was held in six constituencies on April 29, followed by the second phase polls for seven constituencies on May 6 and eight seats in the third phase on May 23.