Bhopal, Apr 8 UNI | 4 months ago

The curtains descended on phase-one campaigning at 1800 hrs today in the heartland state of Madhya Pradesh where polling is scheduled in Satna, Rewa, Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat, Chhindwara and Hoshangabad parliamentary constituencies on Thursday.

Campaigning reached fever pitch yesterday in the constituencies concerned. Four persons were injured in firing, allegedly by a legislator's son, during campaigning in the vicinity of Jabalpur District's Mankhedi village.

It goes without saying that candidates left no stone unturned to woo the electorate. Bigwigs from both major parties -- the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- drummed up support at public meetings.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi spoke at a rally in Sidhi while her deputy Rahul Gandhi campaigned in Satna and Mandla. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan drummed up support for the BJP in Satna today.

Nominees banked more on public contact and campaigning through electronic media to put their views across. The Congress sought votes by extolling achievements of the United Progressive Alliance regime and public-oriented policies while raining fire on the functioning of the state's BJP government.

On the other hand, the saffron party made corruption and the price rise during the past decade its poll planks. It endeavoured to woo voters by recounting development work undertaken by it.

A total 118 candidates are trying their fortune in this phase. They include Union Minister Kamal Nath (Chhindwara) and the Assembly's ex-leader of the opposition Ajay Singh (Sidhi).

Polling would be conducted in these constituencies -- barring Balaghat's Paraswada, Lanji and Baihar -- from 0700-1800 hrs. The schedule was extended by an hour compared to previous elections in order to enhance voting percentage. However, polling would be held between 0700 hrs and 1600 hrs in Naxalism-affected Paraswada, Lanji and Baihar.

(Posted on 08-04-2014)