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Congress May Field Vivek Tankha Against BJP’s Rakesh Singh as MP Braces for a Tough Battle

Tankha is seen among the architects of the Congress win in the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh and is also a sitting MP in Rajya Sabha.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:March 30, 2019, 11:42 PM IST
Congress May Field Vivek Tankha Against BJP’s Rakesh Singh as MP Braces for a Tough Battle
File photo of Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha.

Bhopal: As the BJP and the Congress are headed for a tough fight in the Lok Sabha polls, the two parties are cautiously naming their candidates and are aiming to trump each other’s bigwigs. The Congress has zeroed in on its Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Tankha to take on the BJP state head Rakesh Singh in Jabalpur.

Tankha is seen among the architects of the Congress win in the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh and is also a sitting MP in Rajya Sabha.

Though he had expressed reluctance to fight Lok Sabha polls, the party is likely to field him from Jabalpur where he is based and has a sizable following. Tankha and his family is known to have close ties with the Gandhis.

The Congress might also field Ajay Singh from Sidhi and Nakul Nath, chief minister Kamal Nath’s son, from Chhindwara. The Congress is likely to announce the list of candidates for Madhya Pradesh on late Saturday evening.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath had on Saturday hinted that the party would finalise most of the names within three to four days. Public Relations minister PC Sharma had followed up by saying most names are finalised and a formal announcement is awaited.

On most seats the BJP and the Congress are awaiting names of each-others’ candidates before finalising their own.

With the BJP finding it hard to find a suitable opponent for Bhopal, it is also rumoured that union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was shifted from Gwalior to Morena, could be brought to Bhopal and the BJP general secretary VD Sharma, who was considered a favourite for Bhopal, could be shifted to Morena.

Sharma, who was a favourite before the Congress named Digvijaya Singh, seems to have backtracked. “I would do whatever the party asks me to,” Sharma told the media on his candidature on Saturday.

Speculations are also rife that Jyotiraidtya Scinda would be fielded from Indore. Sources in the BJP claim the sitting MP Sumitra Mahajan could withdraw her candidature in case Scindia steps into Indore.

In a late night list released on Friday, the BJP had named three candidates, dropping names of two sitting MPs. Dhal Singh Bisen has been fielded from Balaghat, Gajendra Patel from Khargone and sitting MP from Rajgarh Roadmal Nagar got a re-nomination.

Bisen emerged victorious as former minister Gaurishankar Bisen remained adamant for daughter Mausam and his opponent Bodh Singh Bhagat also remained adamant on ticket. Subhash Patel, the MP from Khargone was denied ticket as party workers and public wasn’t too happy with him.

Meanwhile, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Kamal Nath are confident of the victories of their respective parties.

Seeing the close contest in assembly polls where 0.1% votes separated the BJP and Congress, both the parties are giving much deliberations into candidate selection on every single seat.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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