Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh will be held in four phases on April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The central Indian state will see BJP and Congress fight for 6 of the total 29 seats on April 29. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had swept the polls in Madhya Pradesh by winning 27 out of the 29 Lok Sabha seats. The Congress, on the other hand, had won only two seats that year with chief minister Kamal Nath winning from Chhindwara and Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna.
However, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Congress party got a major boost in the state as it took the power away from the BJP after 15 years by winning the assembly polls held last year.
Meanwhile, as on February 22, 2019, there are 5.02 crore voters in the state and the voting on April 29 will be held in six seats - Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat and Chhindwara- in MP.
The Sidhi Lok Sabha constituency has Arjun Singh's son Ajay Singh fighting against sitting BJP MP Riti Pathak. In 2014, Pathak defeated Indrajit Kumar of the Congress by over one lakh votes.
The Shahdol Lok Sabha constituency has been a stronghold of the BJP and has been won by Congress only once, in 2009. In 2014, BJP's Dalpat Singh defeated the Congress's Rajesh Nandini Singh by more than two lakh votes. A by-poll was necessitated in 2016 after Dalpat Singh's death. BJP retained the seat in the by-poll though with a reduced margin of 60,000 votes.
Since 1996, the Jabalpur Parliamentary constituency has been a BJP seat. BJP's Rakesh Singh won it in 2014, by defeating Vivek Krishna Tankha of the Congress by a margin of 208,639 votes.
The Mandla Lok Sabha Constituency is currently held by Faggan Singh Kulaste of BJP. Faggan Singh Kulaste beat Omkar Singh Markam of Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections by receiving 48.10% per cent of the votes. The 2019 polls will see Kamal Singh Maravi of Congress go against Faggan Singh of the BJP.
In Balaghat, BJP's Bodh Singh Bhagat had defeated Congress's Hina Likhiram Kawre by a margin of 96,041 votes in 2014. However, Congress has fielded Madhu Bhagat from Balaghat in 2019 and would be hoping to win in a constituency that has consistently voted for the BJP since 1998.
Lastly, Congress' Nakul Nath, son of Kamal Nath, will take on BJP's tribal leader and former legislator Nathan Shah in Chhindwara. BJP would be hoping to end Congress' dominance in Chhindwara as tribals account for about 27% of Chhindwara's population.
Edited By: Udit Verma