MP CM Kamal Nath among first to cast votes

ANI photo

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath was among the early ones to cast his vote on Monday for the Lok Sabha polls in the state's Chhindwara seat, where his son Nakul Nath is the Congress' candidate.

The chief minister along with his wife, son and daughter-in-law arrived at a polling booth in Shikapur area to exercise their franchise.

Power supply tripped briefly when the chief minister and his family members were inside the polling booth, election micro-observer Narendra Singh Sisodia told PTI.

Polling began in the morning in six Lok Sabha seats of the state and by-election to Chhindwara Assembly constituency, where the chief minister is in the fray.

The Lok Sabha constituencies of Sidhi, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Mandla, Balaghat and Chhindwara are going to polls in the first phase of general elections in the central state.

A poll official said Nath would not be able to exercise his democratic right in the Chhindwara Assembly bypoll as he is a registered voter from Saunsar Assembly seat.

Barring the Naxal-affected Baiher, Lanjhi and Paraswada Assembly segments under Balaghat parliamentary seat, polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm, a poll official said.

In the Naxal-affected areas, polling will be held from 7 am to 4 pm, he added.

Total 108 candidates are in the fray in the six Lok Sabha seats, including maximum 26 in Sidhi, followed by Balaghat-23, Jabalpur-22, Chhindwara-14, Shahdol-13 and Mandla-10.

Nine candidates are trying their luck in the Chhindwara Assembly bypoll.

In 2014, riding on the 'Modi wave', the BJP won five of these six Lok Sabha seats.

Congress veteran Kamal Nath had won from his bastion Chhindwara, where his son Nakul Nath is the party candidate this time for the Lok Sabha polls.

After taking over as chief minister following Congress' victory in the last year's Assembly polls, Kamal Nath needs to get elected to the state Legislature within six months.

Congress MLA Deepak Saxena quit from the Chhindwara Assembly seat to make a way for him. PTI COR MAS ADU LAL GK GK

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