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MP: SP fields Manoj Yadav as INDIA bloc nominee from Khajuraho seat against state BJP chief

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Bhopal, Mar 30 (PTI) Samajwadi Party on Saturday declared the candidature of Manoj Yadav from the Khajuraho Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh against BJP state unit chief and sitting MP V D Sharma.

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Notably, Khajuraho is the only constituency allotted to SP, a member of the INDIA bloc, in Madhya Pradesh as part of a seat-sharing agreement with Congress.

"Manoj Yadav will be the candidate of SP from Khajuraho seat. He hails from Shikohabad in Uttar Pradesh but settled in Madhya Pradesh," Samajwadi Party's national spokesman Yash Bhartiya told PTI.

Notably, Yadav had contested the election on an SP ticket from the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in 2014 and could garner only 3,293 votes.

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"He was initially given a ticket from the Bijawar assembly seat in the 2023 elections but his candidature was changed as the party decided to field former MLA Rekha Yadav," Bhartiya said.

The BJP has fielded its state party president Vishnu Dutt Sharma, a Lok Sabha member from Khajuraho, for the second time in a row.

The saffron party has been winning the Khajuraho seat since 2004, with firebrand leader Uma Bharti getting elected for four terms between 1989 and 1998. In 1999, senior Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi was elected from Khajuraho, while BJP's Ram Krishna Kusumaria won in 2004. It has remained a BJP bastion ever since.

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Out of the 29 seats in MP, the Congress has so far announced candidates on 25 seats except for Khandwa, Gwalior, and Morena out of 28 seats it is contesting.

The BJP has declared candidates on all 29 seats in MP.

Sidhi, Shahdol (ST), Jabalpur, Mandla (ST), Balaghat and Chhindwara seats will go to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections starting April 19.

In 2019, the BJP had won 28 of 29 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, with the exception of the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat, which was retained by Congress. PTI ADU NSK

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