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MP:Voting for 6 LS seats, Chhindwara Assembly bypoll on Apr 29


Press Trust of India Bhopal
Polling in six Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh and by-election to Chhindwara Assembly constituency where Chief Minister Kamal Nath is in the fray will be held on Monday.
Lok Sabha constituencies of Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat and Chhindwara will go to polls in the first phase of general elections in the central state.
Total 108 candidates are in the fray, including maximum 26 in Sidhi, followed by Balaghat-23, Jabalpur-22, Chhindwara-14, Shahdol-13 and Mandla-10.
Nine candidates are trying their luck in the Chhindwara Assembly bypoll.
Altogether 1.08 crore people, including 9,864 services voters who will cast postal ballot, are eligible to exercise their franchise.
State chief electoral officer V L Kantha Rao said barring the Naxal-affected Baiher, Lanjhi and Paraswada Assembly segments under Balaghat parliamentary seat, polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm.
In Naxal-affected areas, polling will be held from 7 am to 4 pm, he added.
In 2014, riding on the 'Modi wave', the BJP won five of these six Lok Sabha seats.
Congress veteran Kamal Nath had won from his bastion Chhindwara, where his son Nakul Nath is the party candidate this time for the Lok Sabha polls.
State BJP president Rakesh Singh and former Union minister and BJP's tribal face Faggan Singh Kulaste are contesting from Jabalpur and Mandla, respectively.
After taking over as chief minister following Congress' victory in the last year's Assembly polls, Kamal Nath needs to get elected to the state Legislature within six months.
Congress MLA Deepak Saxena quit from the Chhindwara Assembly seat to make a way for him.
In the last leg of electioneering for the six Lok Sabha seats, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held rallies in Sidhi and Jabalpur whereas Congress chief Rahul Gandhi addressed public meetings in Shahdol and Jabalpur.
BJP chief Amit Shah also addressed a public meeting in Chhatarpur.
Kamal Nath and his predecessor and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan also campaigned extensively for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state.
In 2014, the BJP won 27 out of the total 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Later, the Congress reclaimed Ratlam seat in a by-election, taking its tally to three.
The Congress 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.
Lok Sabha elections in MP will be held in four phases on April 29, and May 6, 12 and May 19, and counting of votes will take place on May 23.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 3:55 PM IST

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