The BJP and Congress on Wednesday announced candidates for the upcoming assembly by-elections at Ater and Bandhavgarh segments in Madhya Pradesh. Counting for the polls would be held on April 13. Polling is slated to be held at Ater constituency in Bhind district and Bandhavgarh constituency in Umaria district on April 9.
The Congress announced Hemant Katare as the party's candidate from Ater. Hemant's father, late Satyadev Katare was Leader of Opposition and his demise necessitated the by-polls at Ater. The BJP's state election committee met on Wednesday at Bhopal and has forwarded the name of former MLA Arvind Singh Bhadoria from Ater to the central election committee.
The central committee is likely to endorse the state committee's choice. The BJP by fielding Bhadoria, a Thakur and the Congress by fielding Katare - a Brahmin have made the by-election a Brahmin versus Thakur contest in the deeply divided on the caste lines' politics of the Gwalior-Chambal region. For Bandhavgarh, the BJP's state election committee has forwarded the name of Shivnarayan Singh, the son of former minister and now Shahdol Lok Sabha MP Gyan Singh. Gyan Singh represented Bandhavgarh in the assembly but resigned from the seat after he was elected to Parliament from Shahdol.
Pitted against Shivnarayan Singh is the Congress's Savitra Singh. Both Shivnarayan Singh and Savitri Singh are members of the district panchayat.The by-elections at Ater and Bandhavgarh have gained significance as the results from these seats will set the tone for the upcoming assembly elections in November 2018.