Four days after accepting Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's challenge to contest from the "toughest" seat in the Lok Sabha elections, veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has been declared a candidate from the Bhopal seat.
"He said you decide where should I contest from, so I decided. I said contest from Bhopal," news agency ANI quoted Kamal Nath as saying after the announcement of Mr Singh's candidature from Bhopal.
Bhopal, currently held by BJP's Alok Sanjhar, is a high-profile seat along with Indore and Vidisha that the Congress has not won in three decades. Former President late Shankar Dayal Sharma was the last Congress winner from the seat in the 1984 general elections.
Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath are believed to be locked in an ego clash since Mr Nath took over as Chief Minister in December. Infighting in Madhya Pradesh may affect the party in the elections just weeks ahead, many leaders fear. Earlier this week, Digvijaya Singh had said that he will fight from wherever Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asks him to.
Digvijaya Singh, a former chief minister, had earlier this week said he was "grateful to Kamal Nath" for thinking that he is "competent enough to fight Lok Sabha elections," in a statement seen as a veiled dig.
Kamal Nath had last Saturday said if Digvijaya Singh wanted to contest the Lok Sabha polls, he should choose the "toughest seat" in the state. Without naming any seat, he had said that there were a few seats in the state that the Congress had not won in "30-35 years."
Sources say that Digvijaya Singh wanted to contest from the Rajgarh seat, which he had won in 1984 and 1991.
Madhya Pradesh sends 29 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha. In 2014, the BJP won 27, while the Congress won only two seats. This time, the party fancies its chances after wresting Madhya Pradesh from the BJP in the December state polls.
Elections in the state will be held in four rounds -- on April 29, May 6, 12 and 19. The two main parties in the state, Congress and BJP, are yet to announce their candidates in Madhya Pradesh.
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