On Monday Madhya Pradesh entered the Lok Sabha fray in the fourth phase of the staggered seven part process, with all eyes on Bhopal, where Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is pitted against former Chief Minister and Congress’ candidate Digvijay Singh.
Polling began at 7 a.m. for six parliamentary seat and one Assembly bypoll.
The six constituencies where polling has begun Chhindwara, Balaghat, Jabalpur, Sidhi, Shahdol and Mandla.
Chhindwara is a prestige battle for Chief Minister Kamal Nath who has fielded his son from the seat after winning it nine times. He had won the seat even at the peak of the Modi wave when the BJP swept the state in the 2014 elections. Nakul Nath has promised faster development.
Balaghat, on the other hand, is a Naxal-affected district, and given the Naxal violence ahead of the elections in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh, this constituency is on high security alert.
Jabalpur constituency, in the meanwhile, will see a tough contest between state BJP president Rakesh Singh and Congress candidate Vivek Tankha.
Total 108 candidates are in the fray, including maximum 26 in Sidhi, followed by Balaghat-23, Jabalpur-22, Chhindwara-14, Shahdol-13 and Mandla-10.
Nine candidates are trying their luck in the Chhindwara Assembly bypoll.
A total of 1.05 crore voters will exercise their rights, including 9,864 services voters who will cast postal ballot.