Tri-cornered contest on cards in MP bypoll

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Indore, Dec 9 (UNI) A gripping tri-cornered contest is on the cards in this district's Sanver (SC) assembly byelection, where polling is scheduled on December 12, along with the Khargone Lok Sabha constituency.

This byelection is a key for both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and main opposition Congress as they dealt a humiliating defeat by the Samajwadi Party at the recent Lanji Vidhan Sabha bypoll.

The Assembly elections are scheduled in Madhya Pradesh next year.

The Bharatiya Janashakti (BJ), led by former chief minister Uma Bharti, is impatient about securing its maiden foothold in the Vidhan Sabha by riding on a sympathy wave as it has fielded Mr Ranjeet Sonkar, the elder brother of former minister and late BJP MLA Prakash Sonkar whose demise necessitated the bypoll. Mr Sonkar is livid over the BJP for not granting a ticket to him or any member of his family.

For its part, the BJP has inducted and fielded earlier BJ candidate Santosh Malviya. Mr Tulsi Silawat, who was Congress nominee thrice earlier -- and once successful -- is trying his luck for the fourth time under that party's banner. The Congress is ''assured'' about his ''grip'' over the electorate.

Mr P Sonkar has been the BJP candidate on six occasions and represented Sanver four times. The family's claim for a BJP ticket was demolished by the defeat -- at Lanji -- of Ms Dhareshwari Bhatere, wife of MLA Dilip Bhatere whose demise necessitated that bypoll.

Both the BJ and BJP are promising that they would complete Mr P Sonkar's unfinished work. Away from this battle for sympathy, the Congress is focussing on waxing eloquent about the Centre's schemes and accusing the state's BJP regime of reneging on promises.

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