Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Muslims in Madhya Pradesh constitute an important segment of the electorate. There are 34 Muslims candidates in fray from these three Muslims dominated Vidhan Sabha constituencies – Bhopal North, Bhopal Central and Narela.
There are 140 candidates in fray after the deadline for the withdrawal of nominations got over on Thursday. There are 17 Muslim candidates in Narela Vidhan Sabha constituency, supposed to be the highest followed by Bhopal North (10) and seven in Bhopal Central. In Bhopal North, which has been a strong hold of Congress, sitting MLA Arif Aqueel’s brother Aamir Aqueel and dissident Nasir Islam have not withdrawn their nominations against his son Atif Aqueel. However, Congress rebel Jitendra Daga has withdrawn his nomination from Huzur Vidhan Sabha constituency. BJP has fielded sitting MLA Rameshwar Sharma and Congress has fielded Naresh Gyanchandani. In Narela, there are 30 candidates. Minister for medical education Vishvas Sarang is from BJP and Congress has fielded Manoj Shukla. There are 20 candidates in Bhopal North. BJP has fielded former mayor Alok Sharma while Congress has fielded son of sitting MLA Arif Aqueel.
In Bhopal Central, 23 candidates are contesting. BJP has fielded former MLA Dhruvnarain Singh and Congress has fielded sitting MLA Arif Masood. There are 14 candidates in Bhopal South constituency. Congress’ sitting MLA PC Sharma is contesting against BJP’s Bhagwandas Sabnani. In Govindpura, there are 24 candidates. BJP’s candidate and former mayor Krishna Gaur is contesting against Congress Ravindra Sahu Jhumerwala. In Berasia, there are 17 candidates in fray. BJP has fielded sitting MLA Vishnu Khatri and Congress has fielded Jayshree Harikaran.