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Kamal Nath, his son Nakul in poll fray to enter assembly, LS

Press Trust of India  |  Bhopal 

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and his son Nakul Nath are in election fray from their family turf of Chhindwara as Congress candidates, but their destinations are different.

While Kamal Nath is contesting bypoll from the Chhindwara assembly seat to continue in his office in Bhopal, his son is looking to enter Parliament in Delhi via his home district which is part of the Mahakaushal region.

The Congress has fielded Nakul Nath (44) from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency, represented by his father for a record nine times since 1980, marking his debut in electoral politics.

Kamal Nath has lost from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat only once, in 1997, when he was defeated by BJP stalwart Sunderlal Patwa in a bypoll.

In the 1996 Lok Sabha polls, Kamal Nath's wife Alka Nath had won from the family pocket borough.

When Kamal Nath (72) took over as the chief minister in December last year, he was not a member of the state assembly.

Under electoral laws, it is mandatory for Kamal Nath to become an MLA within six months of assuming office to continue as the chief minister.

The veteran politician decided to enter the assembly by contesting from the Chhindwara assembly seat, which is part of the Lok Sabha constituency once represented by him.

Kamal Nath's close aide Deepak Saxena had won the seat on a Congress ticket in assembly polls held in November last year. Saxena later resigned to pave the way for Kamal Nath to contest from the seat.

Now, elections in Chhindwara will be in limelight as both Kamal Nath and his son Nakul are contesting from the district to enter Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha, respectively.

The BJP is yet to announce its candidates against the father-son duo. Voting in Chhindwara will be held on April 29.

Madhya Pradesh Lok Sabha Election Management Committee chairman Suresh Pachouri told PTI, "Congress president Rahul Gandhi has taken a very good decision by nominating Nakul Nath from Chhindwara which his father had developed as a model constituency."

"Nakul will carry forward his father's legacy by nurturing Chhindwara in the same manner," said Pachouri, a former Union minister.

"The decision of party to field Kamal Nath for the Chhindwara assembly by-poll will have its impact not only in Mahakaushal, but also the entire state," Pachouri said.

However, veteran journalist Girija Shankar said Kamal Nath, a former Union minister, should have selected some other seat to enter the assembly.

"It would have been better if Nath had contested bypoll from some other seat to prove he is a tall leader and can win from any constituency in the state.

"By contesting from Chhindwara, he will remain confined to that region and will give his detractors a chance to say he can't come out of his home turf," he said.

Kamal Nath had won the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat in 2014 by a margin of over 1,16,000 votes.

He was only the second Congress leader to get elected to the Lok Sabha from Madhya Pradesh in 2014 -- the other one was Jyotiraditya Scindia (Guna).

Riding the 'Modi wave', the BJP had won 27 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state five years ago.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 04 2019. 21:15 IST