Bhopal: The great democratic carnival comes to Madhya Pradesh on April 23 when 13 of the state’s 29 parliamentary constituencies go to polls during the Phase II of the staggered five phase elections to elect the 15th Lok Sabha.
Scheduled for April 22-23, the Phase II polls are by far the most significant during the current election season, which is being conducted under the strict vigil of poll officials and the media.
Apart from Bhopal, the other constituencies scheduled to witness polling on April 23 are: Khajuraho, Sidhi, Satna, Rewa, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat, Chhindwara, Hoshangabad, Vidisha, and Betul.
The primary contest in the state capital is between BJP’s Kailash Joshi and Surendra Singh Thakur of the Congress. Though, Joshi is the odds on favourite to retain the seat he won in 2004, the politically astute suggest that the presence of Samajwadi Party and the BSP candidates will help him overcome any last minute challenges put up by the faction-torn Congress.
Other luminaries seeking mandate on the day include Chinddwara strongman and key Congress leader Kamalnath and BJP firebrand Sushma Swaraj, who is contesting from the BJP home turf – Vidisha, for the first time.
A total of 2,041 candidates, including 121 women, will attempt to vote out competition in 141 Lok Sabha segments across 13 states in the second leg of the polls.
Manipur goes to polls on April 22 while voting in 12 states, including MP, takes place on 23.
Polling for 140 assembly constituencies in Andhra Pradesh and 70 in Orissa are also slated to take place on the day.
Voting in the second phase will decide the fate of 122 BSP candidates, 117 from the Congress and 113 from the BJP.
The other states to witness polling in the on the day are: A.P. – 20 Lok Sabha seats, Assam-11, Bihar-13, Goa-2, J & K-1, Karnataka-17, Maharashtra-25, Manipur-1, Orissa-11, Tripura-2, U.P.-17 and Jharkhand-8.