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By Our Special Correspondent
Senior Congress leader, Kapil Sibal, showing the list of party candidates for the Lok Sabha elections at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. - Photo: Shanker Chakravarty.
NEW DELHI, MARCH 30. Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Ram Naresh Yadav, Ujwala Shinde, wife of the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Ajit Jogi, former Delhi Police Commissioner, Nikhil Kumar, Meira Kumar, and Satish Sharma figure in the latest list of 69 candidates released by the Congress here today.
Mr. Yadav, who would contest Azamgarh, is among the list of 18 candidates from Uttar Pradesh. Capt. Satish Sharma has been shifted from Rae Bareli to Sultanpur while the AICC secretary and MLA, R.P.N. Singh, would contest from Padrauna. Ummed Singh, husband of the slain SP MP, Phoolan Devi, has been fielded from the Basti-reserved constituency while the former Governor, Mahavir Prasad, will be the candidate from Bansgaon.
In Maharashtra, Ms. Ujwala Shinde would be the party candidate from Solapur, a constituency held by her husband in the 13th Lok Sabha. However, at the time of the dissolution, the Bharatiya Janata Party had wrested the seat in the by-election necessitated after Mr. Shinde resigned as he became the Chief Minister.
Former Rajya Sabha MP, Srikant Jichkar would contest from Ramtek, Prakash V. Patil from Sangli, son of former Chief Minister, Vasantdada Patil, and Ramakrishna Baba Patil from Aurangabad.
Mr. Ajit Jogi's name was cleared to contest from Mahasamund after the party revoked his suspension.
In Karnataka, the party has asked former MP, K.C. Kondaiah, to contest from Bellary. Television personality Tejeswini Ramesh will be the candidate from Kanakpura while H.C. Srikantaiah has been fielded from Hassan.
Meira Kumar, former MP and daughter of Jagjivan Ram, would contest from Sasaram in Bihar. Former police official, Nikhil Kumar, has been fielded from Aurangabad, a seat represented by his wife Shyama Singh in the dissolved Lok Sabha. The party also fielded State Minister, Shakeel Ahmed from Madhubani while it has yet to announce the fourth seat allocated to the party under the poll pact with Rashtriya Janata Dal.
The party also declared candidates for all the eight of the 14 seats it would contest in Jharkhand. The State Congress chief, Thomas Hansda would seek re-election from Rajmahal while Tilakdhari Singh would do so from Koderma. Both were members in the dissolved Lok Sabha and in spite of an alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the latter has decided to have a ``friendly contest'' on these two seats.
In Andhra Pradesh, the party cleared four more names, including Pallam Raju, son of former Union Minister, M. Sanjeevi Rao, from Kakinada, and Danam Nagendra, a MLA in the dissolved A.P. Assembly, from Secundrabad, to take on the Union Minister, Bandaru Dattatreya. Nand Gopal from Anakapalli and Madhu Y. Goud from Nizamabad are the other two candidates.
Former MP, Krip Chahlia would challenge noted vocalist, Bhupen Hazrika of the BJP in Guwahati while Ranee Narah, a member of the 13th Lok Sabha would seek re-election from Lakhimpur.
In Rajasthan, the party has decided to field the Pradesh Congress Chief, Narain Singh from Sikar and new entrant Pratap Singh Khachariyavas, nephew of the Vice President, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat from Jaipur.
The party has allowed Jagmeet Brar, who represented Faridkot Parliamentary constituency in the last House, to shift to Ferozepur. Karan Brar, daughter-in-law of former Punjab Chief Minister, Harcharan Singh Brar, will now contest Faridkot.
In Ludhiana, former Youth Congress chief, Manish Tiwari, replaces Gurcharan Singh Galib, who held the seat in the 13th Lok Sabha. The party proposes to leave Hoshiarpur to the CPI(M) under seat adjustment.
Among the other seats, former Union Minister, Bhakta Charan Das, has been fielded from Kalahandi in Orissa while Sanjay Bhoi, son of the former Union Minister, Kripasindhu Bhoi would contest from Sambalpur. Another former Minister, Yogendra Makwana, will contest from Dhandhuka in Gujarat.
With this list, the Congress has so far cleared 264 candidates for the coming elections. Besides 18 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, the latest list contains eight from Jharkhand, six from Gujarat and Maharashtra, five from Karnataka, four each from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Orissa, Punjab and Rajasthan, three from Bihar and two from Chhattisgarh.
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