BHOPAL: The fight in Madhya Pradesh's Khajuraho parliamentary constituency is between the "son-in-law" and "daughter-in-law" as the rival parties, rather than focusing on critical issues for the area, are wooing voters through emotional appeal.
The Congress which has fielded Kavita Singh, who is married into the Chhattarpur royal family, says that its nominee is a local while the BJP candidate is an "outsider".
Her credentials as "daughter-in-law" stem from the fact that she hails from Panna - one of the three districts that comprise the constituency - and her husband Vikram Singh a party MLA from Rajnagar - one of the constituency's eight segments - in Chattarpur district.
On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which dumped sitting MP Nagendra Singh and fielded Vishnu Datt Sharma, terms him the "son-in-law", for while he hails from Morena, his wife's maternal home is in Chhattarpur.
Union Minister Uma Bharti, who was elected from Khujaraho four times from 1989 to 1998, said that Sharma is "not an outsider but our son-in-law. The way I have worked in Jhansi (the seat she contested and won in the 2014 polls), Sharma will work here in Chhattarpur. After all, he is our son-in-law."
Political analysts, however, say this line of contest ignores the area's problems. They say that Khajuraho is full of possibilities but it is more identified with poverty, starvation and drought. It has the world famous temples of Khajuraho, diamond city Panna and Katni city where lime is mined, but it has not seen the level of development required.
Analyst Santosh Gautam says: "Bundelkhand faces similar problem in almost every of its part. Wherever the leaders have been a little aware, there a solution to the problems was worked out, but where leaders were weak, the area remained embroiled in distress.
"If you talk about Khajuraho, so long as Vidyavati Chaturvedi, Satyavrat Chaturvedi (both Congress) and Uma Bharati represented it, the area got a lot... but not enough to totally transform it. But after that, the representatives have not done much...."
In the 11 general elections since 1977, Khujaraho has been won by the BJP seven times - including consecutively since 2004, thrice by the Congress and once by the Bharatiya Lok Dal.
A total of 17 candidates are in the fray in the constituency, whose 18.42 lakh voters will exercise their franchise in the fifth phase on May 6.