Updated April 25th, 2024 at 23:34 IST

Transgender Among 80 Nominees in Fray for 6 LS Seats in MP Going to Polls in Phase 2 on Friday

As many as 80 candidates, including a transgender, will battle it out for six constituencies of Madhya Pradesh in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on Friday.

First-Time Voter's Guide To Participating In The Lok Sabha Elections | Image:ANI
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Bhopal: As many as 80 candidates, including a transgender, will battle it out for six constituencies of Madhya Pradesh in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on Friday, which will mostly witness a direct fight between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress.

All necessary measures, including adequate security arrangements, have been made to conduct free and fair polls in these constituencies, an official said on Thursday.

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Polling in these half a dozen Lok Sabha seats -- Tikamgarh (Scheduled Caste-reserved), Damoh, Khajuraho, Satna, Rewa and Hoshangabad -- will be held between 7 am and 6 pm, he said, adding 75 men, four women and a transgender are in the fray.

A total of 12,828 polling booths, including 1,136 to be run exclusively by women, have been set up for 1,1162,460 voters of whom 58,32,333 are men, 53,29,972 women and 155 transgenders, MP Chief Electoral Officer Anupam Rajan told reporters here.

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Union minister Virendra Kumar of the BJP is seeking a fourth straight term in the Lower House of Parliament from Tikamgarh. He is taking on Congress candidate Pankaj Ahirwar.

State BJP president V D Sharma is seeking a second term from Khajuraho. Opposition INDIA bloc is supporting former IAS officer R B Prajapati of the All India Forward Bloc in Khajuraho after Samajwadi Party candidate Meera Yadav's nomination papers were rejected from the seat.

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The highest number of 19 candidates are in the fray in Satna, while only seven nominee -- the lowest in the second phase -- are contesting in Tikamgarh.

Transgender candidate Durga Mausi is among 14 contestants who are vying for the Damoh Lok Sabha seat.

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"The people of Damoh will definitely repose confidence in me," she said and claimed she was anointed as Mahamandaleshwar of Kinnar Akhara (seminary) and had also served as the sarpanch of Kanwara gram panchayat in Katni district for 7 years.

Mahamandaleshwar is one of the highest titles conferred on a seer by an akhara.

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Durga Mausi said she is currently a member of a Janpad panchayat in Katni district.

"People voted for me (in Janpad panchayat) for development," she told PTI.

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This is after a long time that a transgender person is contesting assembly or Lok Sabha polls in the state. Shabnam Mausi became the first transgender person in India to win an assembly poll when she was elected from Sohagpur in Shahdol district in February 2000 in a bypoll.

Besides, among other transgender persons in the state to be elected as representatives are Kamla Nihora aka Kamla Mausi as Katni of mayor, Kamla Bua as Sagar mayor and Hira Bai as a corporator of the Jabalpur Municipal Corporation (JMC).

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Last week, Durga Mausi was seen campaigning all alone on a scooter in the Damoh constituency.

There are 2,865 sensitive polling booths in the half a dozen parliamentary constituencies that are spread over 47 assembly segments, CEO Rajan said.

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According to him, facilities like water, medicines and shelter will be provided at all booths.

Rajan said 223 flying squad teams (FSTs) and 240 static surveillance teams (SSTs) will be keeping a close watch in the constituencies.

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Ever since the model code of conduct came into force on March 16, cash and other items worth Rs 247.57 crore have been seized in the state. These included Rs 20.73 crore in cash and liquor worth Rs 22.30 crore, he added.

Almost all licenced arms have been deposited with the police and the process to extern 2,814 criminals from the districts facing polls has been initiated to ensure peaceful polling, said the CEO.

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Besides, the stringent National Security Act (NSA) has been invoked against 30 persons, while a similar action is being taken against 60 others, he said.

In the 2014 general elections, 61.57 per cent voting was recorded in MP, which increased by 10 per cent to 71.16 per cent in 2019. The state has 29 Lok Sabha seats.

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The third and fourth phases of Lok Sabha polls will be held in the state on May 7 and 13. The first phase of polling on April 19 covered half a dozen seats.

In 2019, the BJP won 28 of the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state, while the Congress bagged just one Chhindwara, the home turf of former CM Kamal Nath.

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Published April 25th, 2024 at 23:34 IST