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Madhya Pradesh bigwigs on test tomorrow

Altogether 138 candidates are contesting the eight seats in MP that go to polls in this phase.

Satyaprakash Sharma | Gwalior |

The keenly watched seats of Morena, Guna and Bhopal will decide the fate of Madhya Pradesh’s bigwigs Narendra Singh Tomar, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijay Singh respectively in the sixth phase of Lok Sabha elections on 12 May.

Altogether 138 candidates are contesting the eight seats in MP that go to polls in this phase. The seats are Gwalior, Bhind, Morena, Guna, Sagar, Rajgarh, Vidisha and Bhopal.

Congress general secretary Scindia is contesting for the fifth time from the Guna seat, considered a bastion of the erstwhile Scindia royal family. BJP has fielded K P Yadav against him this time. The Scindias have never lost this seat. Jyotiraditya and his wife Priyadarshini Raje for the first time campaigned door-to-door in this election.

Union minister Tomar, who is known to be a heavyweight leader in the state politics, is in the fray from Morena this time instead of Gwalior, while Congress has fielded its party’s state working president, Ramniwas Rawat against him. Tomar was MP from Morena between 2009 and 2014.

BSP has picked an outsider in Haryana’s Kartar Singh Bhadana for the Morena seat. The BJP has been winning Morena since 1996. However, a tough battle is predicted between Congress and BJP this time.

Bhopal has become the most talked about seat after the Congress fielded former chief minister and veteran leader Digvijay Singh while the BJP chose Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur. Bhopal has been with the BJP for over three decades and all eyes on the outcome this time around.

In Rajgarh, known to be the traditional seat of Digvijay Singh, his anointed candidate Mona Sustani is contesting on a Congress ticket while sitting MP Rodmal Nagar has again been fielded by BJP.

Gwalior mayor Vivek Shejwalkar, son of Narayan Krishna Shejwalkar, who was two-term former MP and one of the founder members of BJP, is contesting on a BJP ticket from the seat. Congress has for the fourth time fielded Ashok Singh despite his track record of losing.

In Bhind, Sandhya Rai and Dewasish Jararia are contesting as BJP and Congress candidates respectively. In Vidisha, another BJP bastion, Ramakant Bhargav is representing the party while the Congress has fielded Shailendra Patel. Prabhu Singh is the Congress candidate from Sagar while Rajbahadur Singh has been fielded by the BJP.

Eleven candidates are contesting from Rajgarh seat while there are 30 contestants in the fray in Bhopal. There are 25 candidates in Morena, 18 each in Gwalior and Bhind, 13 each in Guna and Vidisha. Barring Guna seven seats were won by the BJP in 2014.