Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday announced candidates for 15 more seats in Uttar Pradesh, taking the total number of seats it is contesting in the State to 40 as of date. A decision on Sultanpur — which was to have been cleared in the first list announced on March 4 — is still pending.

Included in the second list are four recent entrants, who joined the party this week. Salim Sherwani, who returned to the Congress on Thursday after having been with the Samajwadi Party since he left his parent fold following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, will contest from his traditional Badaun constituency.

The former Union Minister of State for Agriculture in the National Democratic Alliance government, Sompal Shastri, will contest Baghpat — which seat he held once after defeating Ajit Singh of the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

He joined the party on Wednesday.

The Gautam Budh Nagar seat has gone to Ramesh Chand Tomar, a four-time Bharatiya Janata Party member of the Lok Sabha who joined the Congress on Friday.

Rahi for Sitapur

And, in Sitapur, the party is fielding the Union Minister of State for Home in the Narasimha Rao government, Ram Lal Rahi. He left the Congress briefly only to return on Thursday.

Pradeep Jain Aditya has been given the Jhansi Lok Sabha constituency. He is now a member of the Assembly representing the Jhansi segment.

Others in the fray include Choudhary Gaje Singh (Saharanpur), Saeed-uz Zaman (Bijnor), V. M. Singh (Pilibhit), Umed Singh (Shahjahanpur), Vinay Pandey (Shrawasti), Basant Chaudhary (Basti), Harshvardhan Singh (Deoria), Santosh Kumar Singh (Azamgarh) and Shailendra Singh (Chandauli).