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Lok Sabha polls: 19 pull out, 88 candidates left in fray for first phase in MP

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NewsDrum Desk
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Bhopal, Mar 30 (PTI) Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste and sitting Congress MP Nakul Nath are among the 88 candidates nominated for Madhya Pradesh’s six Lok Sabha seats that will go to polls in the first phase on April 19.

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Saturday, which was the last day for withdrawal of nomination, saw 19 candidates pulling out of the race, said MP’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anupam Rajan.

“Now, 88 candidates are in the fray on six seats of Madhya Pradesh,” he said. The seats are Sidhi, Shahdol (ST), Jabalpur, Mandla (ST), Balaghat and Chhindwara.

Elections for MP’s 29 seats will be held in four phases between April 19 and May 13.

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Of the 113 nominations filed for the six seats, six were rejected during the scrutiny on March 28. With the withdrawal of 19 candidates, 88 remain in the fray.

According to officials, the break-up of the contesting candidates is Sidhi (17), ten in Shahdol (ST), Jabalpur (19), 14 in Mandla (ST), Balaghat (13) and Chhindwara (15).

The Congress has renominated Nath from Chhindwara, where the BJP has fielded Vivek Bunty Sahu. Chhindwara was the only Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh that was won by the Congress in 2019.

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The BJP has renominated Kulaste from Mandla, where he is pitted against Congress leader and former state minister Omkar Singh Markam, the sitting MLA from Dindori. Kulaste lost the recently held assembly polls from Niwas in Mandla district.

In Jabalpur, Ashish Dubey of the BJP and Dinesh Yadav of the Congress are new faces. Jabalpur's former Lok Sabha MP Rakesh Singh was fielded in the assembly elections last year and he went on to win. He is now a minister in the state cabinet.

The BJP has fielded Rajesh Mishra, another new face, in Sidhi, where the Congress has given the ticket to former minister Kamleshwar Patel.

In Shahdol, the BJP has renominated MP Himadri Singh, while the Congress has fielded sitting Phundelal Marko, who represents the Pushprajgarh assembly constituency.

The BJP has nominated corporator Bharti Pardhi in Balaghat, where Congress has fielded its district unit president Samrat Singh. PTI ADU NR

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