The Congress on Thursday night released its sixth and final list for the November 28 Assembly polls in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, nominating its OBC face Arun Yadav against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Budhni seat in Sehore district.
The BJP also announced its fourth and final list of seven candidates for the polls.
The Congress left one seat, Jatara, for its ally Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD).
With an apparent objective to tie down Shivraj Singh Chouhan in his bastion Budhni, the opposition party picked up former Union Minister and former state Congress chief Yadav as his opponent.
The Yadav community accounts for a large number of votes, nearly twice that of Kirars, an OBC community to which Mr Chouhan belongs, a source in Sehore district said.
Mr Chouhan has been elected from Budhni thrice in a row.
Arun Yadav will file his nomination papers on Friday, party sources said.
The Congress left a seat in Jatara, reserved for SC candidate, for LJD in the party’s final list. The LJD might field Vikram Choudhary from Jatara, sources said.
“With the final list out, we have declared candidates for 229 out of 230 seats,” MP Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said.
Budhni, over 60 km from Bhopal, is Shivraj Chouhan’s home turf from where he was first elected as MLA in 1990. This would be the fifth time he will be contesting from the seat, which is close to his ancestral village of Jait in Sehore.
In 2013, Shivraj Singh Chouhan had defeated Congress’s Mahendra Singh Chauhan by 84,000 votes from Budhni.
Besides Arun Yadav, the Congress, in the final list, announced candidates for Indore-1 (Sanjay Shukla in place of earlier announced Preeti Agnihotri), Indore-2 (Mohan Singh Sengar), Indore-5 (Satyanarayan Patel), Manpur-ST (Gyanwati Singh) and Ratlam Rural-ST (Thavar Lal Bhuria).
The BJP, in a surprise move in its final list, nominated a woman candidate, Fatima Rasul Siddaki, against Congress’s sitting MLA Arif Aqueel from Bhopal North.
Other seats for which it announced candidates were: Pawai (Prahlad Lodhi), Panna (Brijendra Singh), Lakhnadoun-ST (Vijay Uike), Seoni-Malwa (Prem Shankar Verma in place of former minister Sartaj Singh, who quit BJP at the last moment to join Congress in protest), Mahidpur (Bahadur Singh Chauhan) and Garoth (Devilal Dhakar).
With this, BJP has announced its candidates for all 230 seats in the state, party spokesperson Sarvesh Tiwari said.