Several Rahuls, Ajays in the fray in Damoh bypoll

Insight Online News

Damoh (MP), April 6 : The bypoll to Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh Assembly seat, which is being seen as a straight battle between the ruling BJP and the Congress, has become a unique contest with several candidates bearing the same first name as the nominees of the two big parties jumping into the fray.

Rahul Lodhi is the BJP candidate while Congress has fielded Ajay Tandon. Several candidates named Rahul or Ajay have also filed nominations to ‘confuse’ the voters.

Out of the 22 candidates, there are four named Rahul, including the BJP nominee, and three Ajays, including the Congress candidate. The other Rahuls or Ajays are contesting as Independents or from fringe political parties.

Apart from the BJP and the Congress, the Bharatiya Shakti Chetana Party, the Bundelkhand Kranti Dal, and the Shiv Sena have also put up their candidates, while there are 16 Independents.

The Damoh seat fell vacant in October 2020 after sitting Congress MLA Rahul Lodhi defected to the BJP.

The April 17 bypoll is seen as a prestige fight though its result will not affect the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government which enjoys a comfortable majority. The presence of candidates of the same name has given rise to speculation if it has been deliberately done to trick the voters.

Political observers say many of the ‘clone’ candidates are unknown individuals who are paid to compete as such tricks are not uncommon in Indian elections.


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