MP: BJP's Lodhi, Cong's Tandon to face off in Damoh bypoll

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Damoh (MP), Mar 26 (PTI) Rahul Lodhi of the BJP and Ajay Tandon of the Congress will be the main contenders in the next month's Damoh assembly byelection in Madhya Pradesh.

Lodhi, sitting MLA who quit the Congress last year -- which necessitated the byelection -- was declared as candidate of the ruling BJP on Thursday.

While Tandon had already filed his papers for the April 17 election, Lodhi submitted his nomination papers on Thursday, party sources said.

Lodhi quit the Congress in October last year, days before the November 3 byelections to 28 seats. But the byelection in Damoh was announced by the Election Commission later, on March 16.

Counting of votes will take place on May 2 along with that for five states assembly elections.

Tandon had earlier contested assembly elections twice unsuccessfully against senior BJP leader Jayant Mallaiya.

Mallaiya had won from Damoh six times from 1990 to 2013.

In 2018, Lodhi defeated Mallaiya by a narrow margin of 798 votes to clinch the seat for the Congress. After he switched sides, the BJP picked him over Mallaiya.

The state witnessed by-polls for 28 assembly seats last year after 25 Congress MLAs resigned in support of Jyotiraditya Scindia and joined the BJP. The saffron party won 19 seats. PTI COR MAS KRK KRK