Updated April 19th, 2024 at 09:23 IST

Amid Congress Exodus and BJP's Might, Kamal Nath Fighting Lone Battle in Chhindwara For Son Nakul

No prominent national Congress leader has visited Chhindwara to campaign for Nakul Nath and Kamal Nath seems to be banking on sympathy votes after exodus.

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
Kamal Nath’s Son Nakul Nath to Contest From Chhindwara: Reports | Image:PTI

New Delhi: We have served the people of Chhindwara for 44 years and have full confidence that they will stand with the truth, said Congress' candidate from Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat and outgoing MP Nakul Nath as the first phase of Lok Sabha polls began on Friday, April 19. Chhindwara is the only Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh which the BJP lost in 2019. However, this time the BJP's top guns including Amit Shah and JP Nadda have held roadshows and rallies in the constituency while senior leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiya has been camping in the city. Will Kamal Nath's charisma work again, or the BJP will script history this time? 

Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh’s Mahakoshal region has been a home turf of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Kamal Nath which he handed over to his son Nakul Nath in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. However, this time the campaign remained a family affair for the Naths as Kamal Nath is struggling to help his parliamentarian son Nakul Nath win from Chhindwara for a second time amid the BJP's aggressive push to wrest the seat.


The Chhindwara LS seat, a Congress citadel for four decades, has seven assembly segments across Chhindwara and Pandhurna districts, all won by the grand old party. Kamal Nath had won from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat for nine-times and his son was the lone winner in 2019 for the Congress in the state, having 29 parliamentary constituencies.The constituency has 16.28 lakh voters, including 8.22 lakh men, 8.05 lakh women and 11 third gender persons.

"I have full faith in that people of Chhindwara that they will stand with the truth. We have worked for the people of Chhindwara for 44 years. I have full confidence that the people will bless us..." said Nakul Nath. 



Kamal Nath's Lone Battle 

This Lok Sabha elections have been a lone battle for Kamal Nath as his several close associates have left his side to join the BJP in the state. Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Amarwada sitting MLA Kamlesh Shah, Chhindwara mayor Vikram Ahake, former minister Deepak Saxena, district panchayat vice president Amit Saxena, various corporators, office-bearers of municipalities, sarpanchs, and a number of Congress functionaries quit the party. Deepak Saxena, who was a close associate of Kamal Nath, had resigned from his assembly seat in 2019 to pave the way for Kamal Nath's entry to the House after the latter became the chief minister.


Further, no prominent national Congress leader has visited Chhindwara to campaign for Nakul Nath. Kamal Nath's wife Alka Nath and daughter-in-law Priya Nath have been sweating it out to campaign for Nakul Nath along with Kamal Nath at a time when a number of local Congress leaders have left the party.

To counter the BJP's campaign and desertions, the Congress has been relying heavily on the works done by Kamal Nath in the last four decades while Kamal Nath is banking on sympathy votes. 


BJP Pulls Up Outsider-Insider Card 

The BJP has fielded Vivek Bunty Sahu against Nakul Nath in Chhindwara. Last year, Sahu was defeated by Kamal Nath in the assembly poll from Chhindwara. Top BJP leaders including party president JP Nadda, Union minister Anurag Thakur, state party chief VD Sharma, minister Prahlad Patel have visited Chhindwara to campaign for their party nominee. Further, Senior BJP leader and state minister Kailash Vijayvargiya and Rajya Sabha member Kavita Patidar are stationed in Chhindwara to oversee the electioneering process. Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a roadshow in Chhindwara on Tuesday.


Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Mohan Yadav has visited the parliamentary constituency six times for electioneering. Mohan Yadav raised the issue of "local vs outsider" while campaigning for Sahu in Chhindwara. He termed Sahu a local, and Kamal Nath, who hails from a business family of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, an outsider.


Published April 19th, 2024 at 09:23 IST