The Congress on Thursday released a new list of 12 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The list comprises 12 names from Madhya Pradesh, including Chief Minister Kamal Nath's son Nakul who will contest from Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency.
Kamal Nath himself was fielded from Chhindwara Assembly seat, where by-election is to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls.
The assembly seat was vacated by Congress' Deepak Saxena after Kamal Nath, the sitting Chhindwara MP, took over as chief minister and consequently needed to get elected to the state legislature.
With this list, the Congress has so far announced candidates for 21 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh.
Nakul Nath will be hoping to succeed to his father who has represented Chhindwara in the Lok Sabha ten times.
Former state Congress chief Arun Yadav, also a former Union minister, has been nominated from Khandwa, while former Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh, who had lost Assembly election from Churhat last year, has been fielded from Sidhi Lok Sabha seat.
All India Congress Committee Legal Cell Chairman Vivek Tankha will contest from Jabalpur, where he will face state BJP president Rakesh Singh, the sitting MP. Singh had defeated Tankha in Jabalpur in 2014.
Other names in the Congress' list included Prabhu Singh Thakur (from Sagar), Pratap Singh Lodhi (Damoh), Rajaram Tripathi (Satna), Siddharth Tiwari (Rewa), Kamal Maravi (Mandla), folk singer Prahlad Tipaniya (Dewas (SC)), Babulal Malviya (Ujjain (SC)) and Dr Govind Muzaalda (Khargone (ST)).
The Congress has yet to announce candidates from some key seats including Vidisha, Gwalior and Indore.
Nor has the party announced its candidate from Guna, represented by AICC general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Last month, the party had released its first list of nine candidates for the state which included party veteran Digvijaya Singh and Meenakshi Natarajan.
Singh will be contesting from the state capital Bhopal, a BJP stronghold since 1989. Meenakshi Natarajan, a close confidant of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, will again take on Sudhir Gupta, the sitting BJP MP, in Mandsaur.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won 27 of the total 29 seats except for Guna and Chhindwara constituencies, which were retained by Congress stalwarts Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath.
Scindia has been representing Guna in the Lok Sabha since 2002 and has been MP from the seat for four straight terms.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has been the Chhindwara MP for 10 times and has been winning the constituency since 1980, except for in 1997 when the senior Congress leader lost to former chief minister and BJP leader Sundar Lal Patwa in a bypoll.
The saffron party has failed to wrest the two seats from the Congress in the last 15 years.
The 14 Lok Sabha seats which the Congress could not win in this period are Bhopal, Indore, Vidisha, Morena, Bhind, Sagar, Tikamgarh, Damoh, Khajuraho, Satna, Jabalpur, Balaghat, Betul and Rewa.
Except for Rewa, the BJP has been winning all these seats in the last 15 years.
Bahujan Samaj Party's Deoraj Singh Patel had won Rewa in 2009. The BJP had won the seat in 2004 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
There are nine Lok Sabha seats in the state considered as BJP strongholds.
The BJP has not faced a single defeat since 1989 in Bhopal, Indore, Vidisha, Bhind and Damoh, whereas it has been winning Morena, Sagar, Jabalpur and Betul since 1996.