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Chunav Flashback: When Kamal Nath lost Chhindwara in shock defeat against BJP in 1997 bypoll

Chhindwara seat in Madhya Pradesh has always remained a Congress stronghold. Kamal Nath has won this seat for nine times. In 2019 polls, Kamal Nath's son Nakul had won election on this seat. In 2024, Nakul Nath is pitted against BJP's Vivek 'Bunty' Sahu.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Published on: April 26, 2024 14:43 IST
When BJP defeated Congress leader Kamal Nath in Chhindwara
Image Source : INDIA TV When BJP defeated Congress leader Kamal Nath in Chhindwara in 1997 bypoll

Chunav Flashback: As Lok Sabha elections 2024 are underway in the country, a lot of BJP leaders are upbeat regarding their poll preparations across the nation. Among many key seats where the saffron party is confident that they would win, one of them is Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara, a Congress stronghold, but may be claimed by the BJP this time, according to projections by the party.

Though many BJP leaders are hopeful that they would defeat Kamal Nath's son Nakul Nath from Chhindwara in the Congress' stronghold, very few know that if this happens, then it wouldn't be the first loss for the 'Grand Old Party' in Chhindwara against the saffron camp.

Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara seat has remained Congress' stronghold and Kamal Nath had been a nine-time MP from this seat. 

But in 1997 bypoll, Kamal Nath suffered a shock defeat against BJP leader Sunder Lal Patwa by a margin of 37,680 votes.

Why Chhindwara went for bypolls in 1997?

In 1996, Kamal Nath's wife Alka had contested from Chhindwara and won the seat by a margin of over 2,100 votes against BJP's Choudhary Chandrabhan. 

Alka Nath contested instead of Kamal Nath because the latter's name had surfaced in a hawala scandal.

Several prominent Congress and BJP leaders including VC Shukla, Madhavrao Scindia, Kamal Nath, Lal Krishna Advani, Madan Lal Khurana, others were named in the scandal. 

However, in 1997, when Kamal Nath got a clean chit in the case, Alka Nath was made to resign and a bypoll was held on Chhindwara seat. 

But, Kamal Nath failed to reclaim hold in his stronghold region and was defeated by BJP leader Sunder Lal Patwa.

Sunder Lal Patwa secured a total vote share of 51.37 per cent while Kamal Nath received 45.75 per cent votes.

Madhya Pradesh is voting in the first four phases of the Lok Sabha elections 2024. Polling in Chhindwara has already concluded in the first phase on April 19. 

ALSO READ | Chunav Flashback: When Sushma Swaraj learnt Kannada to challenge Sonia Gandhi in 1999 Bellary election l Video

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