With the announcement of four more candidates on Tuesday, the Congress in Madhya Pradesh has declared nominees for 27 of the 28 seats for which bypolls will be held on November 3.
The latest list includes Ramsiya Bharati, a sadhvi who will be contesting from Malhara constituency. Bharati is from the Lodhi community, which has a sizeable population in the constituency and influences the politics of the region. The other three names are Rakesh Mawani for Morena, Hemant Katare for Mehgaon and Kamal Patel for Badnawar.
Mawani has been the Morena district president for 10 years.
The Congress had in its first list declared 15 candidates, which was followed by a second list on September 27 with another nine names. In the second list, Abhishek Singh was declared the candidate for Badnawar seat, but this prompted protests within party ranks as Singh — the regional president of Youth Congress — was considered a weak candidate. The ticket from Badnawar was on Tuesday handed to Kamal Patel, a Rajput, a community that has 8 per cent voting population in the constituency.
The Congress, which was said to be struggling to put up candidates for the bypolls as 22 of its MLAs had defected to the BJP, has declared all its candidates except for Biora seat. The BJP, meanwhile, is yet to come out with its list.
Taking a dig at the BJP, Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja said, “BJP state president V D Sharma has said that Congress president Kamal Nath is looking for candidates with a torch. But which torch or eyedrops should be sent to the BJP so that they can look for their candidates, when essentially they have to just decide on three names?”
The Congress has begun holding rallies and gatherings to promote its candidates.
An FIR has been registered against state Congress president Kamal Nath and seven others in Bhander constituency of Datia district for allegedly violating Covid safety guidelines.