Minister and expelled MP in direct combat at Damoh

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Damoh, MP, Nov 21 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh Commerce and Industry Minister and BJP candidate Jayant Malaiya is in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with Congress nominee and expelled BJP MP Chandrabhan Singh in Damoh assembly constituency.

Direct or triangular contests are taking place for three other seats in this district. Damoh is considered Mr Malaiya's traditional bastion from where he has been elected four successive times.

Mr Singh fell out of favour as he was absent from Parliament on health grounds during the recent no-confidence vote against the Centre's UPA government.

The total 16 candidates vying for Damoh include Aarti Patel (Bahujan Samaj Party) and Siyasharan Patel (Bharatiya Jan Shakti).

The constituency has a 1,74,785-strong electorate who are expected to exercise their franchise across 225 polling centres.

The scene has been rendered interesting at this district's Patharia constituency by virtue of it becoming a general seat following delimitation. Sixteen nominees are trying their fortune at Patharia where Khajuraho's BJP MP Ramakrishna Kusmaria is locked in three-cornered combat with Ms Manisha Dubey (Cong) and Pushpendra Hazari (BSP). The constituency has 1,61,570 voters spread over 217 polling centres.

In Javera constituency, former Congress minister Ratnesh Solomon and the BJP's Dashrath Singh Lodhi are in a three-cornered fray along with the Madhya Pradesh Poultry Development Corporation's former director Bhav Singh Lodhi who is a BJP rebel now in BJS camp.

The fate of 11 candidates will be decided by a 1,63,926-strong electorate.

The district's Hata seat was general and no party ever enjoyed supremacy there but the seat became reserved after delimitation. A four-cornered contest is between Mr Khoobchand Tantuwai (Cong), Ms Rma Devi Khatik, Mr K L Lariya (BSP), Mr Purushottam Tantuwai (BJS) while the total number of nominees is 14 and voters number 1,68,601 spread over 232 polling centres.

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