Congress president Rahul Gandhi will hold two rallies in the state on Tuesday to campaign for his party’s Lok Sabha poll candidates. He will address a public meeting in Shahdol district between 3 pm and 4 pm and later hold another rally at Sehora in Jabalpur district, Congress’ state unit general secretary Rajiv Singh said. The Shahdol constituency is reserved for candidates belonging to Scheduled Tribes while the Jabalpur Lok Sabha seat is open for general category. The Congress has fielded Pramila Singh from Shahdol against BJP’s Himadri Singh,who quit the Gandhiled outfit in the run-up to the polls to join the saffon outfit.
In 2016 by-election in Shahdol Lok Sabha seat, BJP’s Gyan Singh defeated Himadri Singh who was then a Congress candidate by a margin of over 60,000 votes. The by-poll in Shahdol was necessitated due to death of then sitting BJP MP Dalpat Singh Paraste. In Jabalpur, Congress’ legal cell chairman and Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha is pitted against sitting BJP MP and state party unit chief Rakesh Singh. The BJP leader, a threeterm MP from Jabalpur, defeated Tankha by a margin of over two lakh votes in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Lok Sabha elections to 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh will be held in four phases on April 29, and May 6, 12 and 19. In the first phase, polling will be held in six seats – Chhindwara, Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla and Balaghat. Chief minister Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath is contesting his maiden election from Chhindwara, which is his family’s traditional seat. Kamal Nath, a nine-term MP who became the state chief minister in December last year, is also contesting his maiden assembly election (by-poll) from Chhindwara seat. The by-election will be held on April 29. As per rules, it is mandatory for him to become a member of the state assembly within six months of assuming office.