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MP: Campaign for 6 LS seats, Chhindwara Assembly bypoll ends

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Press Trust of India Bhopal
The campaign for six Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh and by-election to Chhindwara assembly constituency where Chief Minister Kamal Nath is in the fray ended Saturday evening.
Lok Sabha constituencies of Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat and Chhindwara will go the polls on April 29 in the first phase of general elections in the state.
In all these seats, a direct fight between the Congress and the BJP is expected.
Kamal Nath's son Nakul is the Congress candidate from Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat.
State BJP president Rakesh Singh and former Union minister and BJP's tribal face Faggan Singh Kulaste are contesting from Jabalpur and Mandla, respectively.
In 2014, riding on 'Modi wave', the BJP won five of these six seats but couldn't win Chhindwara, Nath's bastion.
After taking over as chief minister after Congress' victory in November 2018 assembly polls, Nath needs to get elected to the state legislature within six months. Congress MLA Deepak Saxena quit to make a way for him.
In the last leg of electioneering for six seats, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed rallies at Sidhi and Jabalpur whereas Congress chief Rahul Gandhi addressed rallies at Shahdol and Jabalpur.
Nath and his predecessor and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan campaigned extensively for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state where 108 candidates are in the fray.
There are 26 candidates in the fray in Sidhi, 13 in Shahdol, 22 in Jabalpur, 10 in Mandla, 23 in Balaghat and 14 in Chhindwara. Nine candidates are contesting the Chhindwara assembly by-poll.
Around 1.08 crore voters, including 9,864 services voters who will cast postal ballot, are expected to exercise their franchise Monday.
State's chief electoral officer V L Kantha Rao said barring the naxal-affected Baiher, Lanjhi and Paraswada assembly segments in Balaghat, polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm. In Naxal-affected areas, polling will be held between 7 am to 4 pm.
Lok Sabha elections will be held in the state in four phases: April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19.
Counting of votes will take place on May 23.
In 2014, the BJP had won 27 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh. Later the Congress reclaimed Ratlam seat in a by-election, taking its tally to three.
The Rahul Gandhi-led party is hoping to do better in the polls after ending the BJP's 15-year reign in the state last year, while the saffron party is hoping to repeat its 2014 performance.

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First Published: Apr 27 2019 | 5:20 PM IST

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