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Lok Sabha polls: Nominations of 16 candidates found invalid for second phase in Madhya Pradesh

The nomination forms of 93 candidates were found to be valid, while 16 were rejected during the scrutiny of papers for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh, poll officials said on Saturday. These 16 rejected nominations include that of the opposition INDIA bloc nominee and Samajwadi Party’s (SP) Khajuraho candidate Meera Yadav.

Yadav’s form was declared invalid by the returning officer on Friday.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Anupam Rajan said candidates are allowed to withdraw their forms till April 8.

The nominations of 93 candidates are valid, while those of 16 candidates were found invalid during the scrutiny on Friday, Rajan said.

Seven seats – Tikamgarh (SC), Damoh, Khajuraho, Satna, Rewa, Hoshangabad and Betul (ST) – will go to polls in the second phase on April 26.

Union minister and sitting MP Virendra Khatik is contesting from Tikamgarh (SC). Khatik has won all three elections held in this constituency after it was carved out following delimitation in 2008. Congress has fielded Pankaj Ahirwar from this seat.

Another key seat going to polls in this phase is Khajuraho, where sitting MP and BJP state president VD Sharma has been renominated.

Congress had vacated the Khajuraho seat, giving it to the Samajwadi Party (SP) as per the seat-sharing formula of INDIA bloc constituents.

However, the nomination paper of SP candidate Meera Yadav was rejected. The development left the SP fuming, with its chief Akhilesh Yadav terming it a “blatant murder” of democracy and demanding a judicial probe.

After scrutiny, 14 contestants are now left in the Khajuraho constituency.

The BJP has renominated sitting MPs from Satna (Ganesh Singh), Rewa (Janardan Mishra) and Betul (Durgadas Uikey) and fielded new faces from Hoshangabad (Darshan Singh) and Damoh (Rahul Lodhi).

Congress has fielded sitting MLA Siddharth Kushwaha from Satna, former MLA Neelam Mishra from Rewa, Ramu Tekam from Betul, ex-MLA Sanjay Sharma from Hoshangabad and former legislator Tarwar Singh Lodhi from Damoh.

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