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Bypolls: Cong nominees to file papers tomorrow; BJP shortlists


Press Trust of India Bhopal
The ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh has finalised its candidates for the February 24 bypolls in two Assembly constituencies.

Bai Sahab Yadav and Devendra Jain have been selected to contest from bypoll-bound Mungaoli and Kolaras Assembly seats, respectively, but their candidature is awaiting final approval, the party said.

Their names have been sent to the BJP Parliamentary Board for clearance, state BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan told reporters today here.

The Congress, which currently holds both the seats, has fielded Brajendra Singh Yadav from Mungaoli (Ashoknagar district) and Mahendra Singh Yadav from Kolaras (Shivpuri district). They will file their nominations tomorrow.

"We decided our candidates two days back and they are going to file their nomination papers tomorrow," said state Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi.

The Congress and the BJP have already started campaigning for the bypolls, which are expected to test their popularity ahead of the Assembly elections slated by end-2018.

While the Congress is aiming to retain both the seats, the saffron party is trying hard to wrest them.

Both the Assembly segments fall under the Guna Lok Sabha constituency, the pocket-borough of Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Scindia, the party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha, is being pushed as the chief ministerial face by a section in the Congress, which is out of power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003.

Aware of the high stakes involved in the bypolls on his home turf, the 47-year-old former Union minister has been touring the two seats in a bid to ward off the saffron challenge.

The bypolls were necessitated due to the death of sitting Congress MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda (Mungaoli) and Ram Singh Yadav (Kolaras). The counting of votes will take place on February 28.

On its part, the BJP has fielded state Cabinet ministers for campaigning.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, keen to snatch the seats from the Congress, recently announced a slew of measures for the people of the region.

These included financial assistance for tackling malnutrition among the members of the Saharia tribe who form a major chunk of population in Kolaras and Mungaoli.

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First Published: Jan 30 2018 | 6:15 PM IST

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