19 Apr 2024

Madhya Pradesh Lok Sabha Election-2024 Phase 1: Congress giving tough fight to BJP on these 3 seats

Madhya Pradesh Lok Sabha Election-2024 Phase 1: The first phase of voting in the Madhya Pradesh Lok Sabha elections-2024 is taking place today, April 19. Voting is taking place on six seats including Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat, and Chhindwara. 

However, the reports coming from the ground suggest that this time the election on these 6 seats is not going to be so easy for the BJP. While BJP has set a target of 29-0, in the first phase of elections, Congress candidates are giving a tough fight to the BJP on at least 3 out of 6 seats. Although BJP is aiming for a clean sweep, BJP appears stronger than Congress on the other three seats. Let's see the political dynamics on each seat.

Cong giving tough fight in Chhindwara, Mandla, and Sidhi

Chhindwara, Mandla, and Sidhi are the seats where Congress candidates are giving tough competition to the BJP. Nakul Nath, the son of former CM Kamal Nath, is the candidate from Chhindwara seat. Nakul Nath is currently the MP from Chhindwara. The Chhindwara seat has been with Kamal Nath and his family for decades. However, this time BJP has put its full force behind the Chhindwara seat.

It emerged that both Kamal Nath's trusted confidant, Deepak Saxena, and a slew of his MLAs, mayor, and other leaders had defected to the BJP. Nonetheless, Kamal Nath swiftly responded to this BJP maneuver with an emotional plea, invoking his accomplishments in Chhindwara and his longstanding familial ties during rallies and public gatherings.

BJP has fielded Vivek Bunty Sahu from here. He has already given a tough competition to Kamal Nath in the assembly elections. Despite putting all the efforts, the constituency might witness a tough competition between BJP and Congress on the Chhindwara seat.

Kulaste had lost in assembly election

BJP has fielded Union Minister Faggan Singh Kulaste from the Mandla seat. Faggan Singh Kulaste was given a chance by BJP to contest from the Mandla seat during the assembly elections, but he lost. BJP has given him another chance. But his position on the ground is still considered weak.

Meanwhile, in comparison, Congress has fielded its current MLA Omkar Singh Markam from Mandla. His popularity is increasing continuously in the tribal areas. Mandla seat has 8 assembly segments. Congress has won 5 out of these 8 assembly segments. Due to this reason, Congress appears stronger than BJP on the ground on the Mandla seat. But Faggan Singh Kulaste is asking for votes on behalf of PM Narendra Modi. It is clear that there can be a very close competition between Congress and BJP here as well.

BJP at risk of backlash in Sidhi

Similarly, the BJP's position on the Sidhi seat doesn't seem to better than that of the Congress. A major factor behind this is the apprehension of repercussions for the BJP in Sidhi. Discord among BJP leaders in the Sidhi district is evident. The political trajectory of prominent BJP leader and former MLA Kedarnath Shukla came to a halt following the Sidhi urine incident.

Instead of him, the BJP has nominated Dr. Rajesh Mishra for the Sidhi seat. BJP had fielded MP Riti Pathak on Sidhi assembly seat in 2023 assembly polls. Riti won and became an MLA yet she didn't secure a ministerial role in the cabinet. Consequently, her relationship with BJP candidates and other leaders is not so good.

Former MLA Kedarnath Shukla is also displeased with BJP and its candidates. Overall, BJP is definitely at risk of backlash here. 

Meanwhile, Congress has given Kamleshwar Patel a chance from the Sidhi seat. This election is also very important for Kamleshwar Patel in terms of his political career. He will try to take full advantage of the internal strife within BJP. Overall, there can be a tough competition between BJP and Congress on the Sidhi seat as well.

BJP's position strong in Shahdol

On the other hand, the situation of BJP is seen stronger than Congress in Shahdol, Jabalpur, and Balaghat. BJP has given Himadri Singh a chance in Shahdol, while Congress had to struggle to find a candidate here, then they had to field Phundelal Marco. Out of 8 assembly seats in Shahdol, BJP has seven assembly seats. In such a situation, BJP's position on the ground has become stronger.

Jagat Bahadur Annu joined BJP at the last moment in Jabalpur

Similarly, in Jabalpur, BJP has fielded Ashish Dubey, while Congress has reposed trust in Dinesh Yadav. But Congress's heavyweight leader, former mayor Jagat Bahadur Annu, left Congress and joined BJP at the last moment. If he had been in Congress, he would have been the Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha. Therefore, Congress appears quite weak here. PM Narendra Modi himself has created an atmosphere in favor of BJP in Jabalpur through road shows.

Triangular contest in Balaghat

Meanwhile, in Balaghat, BJP has fielded a new face, Bharati Pardhi, while Congress had to struggle here as well, and after a lot of difficulty, they had to make former MLA Ashok Saraswati's son Samrat Singh a candidate from Balaghat seat. BSP's Kankar Munjare is in the electoral field and his influence in the area is being considered strong. In such a situation, a triangular contest is seen in Balaghat. It is obvious that when there is a very close competition between BJP, Congress, and BSP here, political analysts are predicting more damage to Congress.

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