BHOPAL: Former Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Arun Yadav will take on Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Budhni assembly seat of Sehore district in the November 28 assembly poll.
In a late Thursday evening development, the Congress released the sixth and final list of candidates for the coming polls, declaring four candidates, among them Yadav, who is the elder son of Late Subhash Yadav, the former deputy CM of Madhya Pradesh.
He was a front-runner as possible Congress candidate from Khargone seat of his home district, but the party ultimately fielded last time loser Ravi Joshi as its candidate from the seat, after which there were speculations about Yadav reaching Bhopal along with brother Sachin Yadav (sitting Congress MLA from Kasrawad seat of Khargone district) and making some important political announcements on Friday.
Prior to this development, many names have been doing rounds of political circles as possible Congress candidate against the CM, who has been representing the Budhni seat (his hometown) since 2006. It's believed that the Congress national president Rahul Gandhi himself has chosen Yadav as a candidate against the CM to prevent Yadav from making some important political announcement that could have hurt the party.
With the final list of the Congress now released, the prime opposition party has finally decided to contest 229 out of total 230 seats in MP and left the Jatara seat (presently held by Congress' Dinesh Ahirwar) of Tikamgarh district for Sharad Yadav's Loktantrik Janta Dal.
Yadav, who was the state Congress chief before Kamal Nath took over as top boss of the party in poll-bound MP in April 2018 is a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee (CWC). Yadav's younger brother Sachin Yadav, the sitting MLA from Kasrawad seat of Khargone district (pocket-borough of the powerful Yadav family) has already been fielded again from the same seat.
Yadav, possibly the tallest Yadav leader of Congress in MP, was a Lok Sabha member from Khandwa seat in 2009 but lost the seat to BJP's Nandkumar Singh Chauhan in 2014 general elections.
The three other new candidates in the list are Satyanarayan Patel from Indore-V (a seat he won in 1998), Mohan Singh Sengar (Indore-II) and Gyanwati Singh from Manipur-ST.
The party also changed two candidates from the earlier declared list, fielding Sanjay Shukla instead of Priti Agnihotri from Indore-I and Thavar Lal Bhuria instead of Laxman Singh Dindor (who was a JAYS leader) from the Ratlam-Rural seat. The party has been facing internal rebellion on both these seats since the naming of candidates for them.