Bhopal: The ruling BJP and Opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh are leaving no stone unturned to win the by-polls to three Assembly seats to be held on August 21, the campaigning for which ended on Tuesday.
The by-polls are scheduled to be held in Bahoriband, Vijayraghavgarh (both general) and Agar (SC) constituencies.
The by-election was necessitated in Bahoriband due to the death of sitting MLA Prabhat Pandey. BJP has fielded his son Pranav Pandey from the seat.
In Vijayraghavgarh, the by-poll was being held as sitting Congress MLA Sanjay Pathak switched over to BJP during the recent Lok Sabha elections.
The by-poll in Agar(SC) was necessitated as sitting BJP MLA Manohar Untwal has been elected as MP from Dewas Lok Sabha seat. BJP has fielded former MLA Gopal Parmar from the seat while Congress is banking on Agar Assembly Youth Congress president Rajkumar Gore.
The BJP has fielded Pathak from Vijayraghavgarh while Congress is banking on former Katni Mayor, Vijendra Mishra.
Congress recently suffered a jolt when former MLA from Bahoriband seat, Nishith Patel joined BJP. He had been opposing the candidature of Sourabh Singh, who left BSP to join the Congress a few months back.
On Singh`s complaint, Madhya Pradesh Congress President Arun Yadav initially suspended and later expelled Patel from the party for six years.
Senior BJP leaders, including Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Thawarchand Gehlot and national vice president Prabhat Jha, have campaigned vigorously for the by-elections.
From Congress, party General Secretary Digvijay Singh, former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, state Congress president Arun Yadav, Leader of Opposition Satyadev Katare and MLA Jaivardhan Singh campaigned for the party, while leaders like former Union Ministers Kamal Nath and Kantilal Bhuria were conspicuous by their absence from the campaigning.
The Congress focused on Madhya Pradesh Professional Board Examination (MPPBE) scam and corruption to corner the BJP government, while the latter highlighted development to persuade the voters.
A total of 6,06,495 voters will exercise their right to franchise in the three seats where 409 polling booths, including 115 sensitive, have been set up in which 719 EVMs have been deployed.
The counting of votes will take place on August 25.