Sonia to Contest from Rae Bareli, Rahul from Amethi as Congress Names 11 UP Candidates in First List
Congress' first list, however, does not include Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had recently announced her political debut.
File image of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. (PTI)
New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday released its first list of 15 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, naming 11 candidates from Uttar Pradesh and four from Gujarat.
The party has once again fielded UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli, a seat that she has held uninterrupted since 2004, and party president Rahul Gandhi from Amethi, from where he is a three-time MP.
Amethi and Rae Bareli are Congress strongholds in Uttar Pradesh and the only two seats won by the grand old party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The list was finalised at an over hour-long meeting of the party's central election committee chaired by Rahul Gandhi.
The announcement put an end to speculation that Sonia Gandhi may not contest in the upcoming polls due to health reasons and the party's newly appointed general secretary in-charge (East UP) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may be fielded from her constituency.
Interestingly, the Congress has announced 11 candidates for the electorally crucial state of UP, where the party was overlooked for an alliance by the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party. The party has stated that it would contest on all seats in the state, which sends 80 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha.
The list also came on a day when SP chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed that the Congress is very much a part of the SP-BSP alliance and would contest on only Amethi and Rae Bareli seats, the two constituencies left alone by the regional parties.
The first list, however, does not include Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had recently announced her political debut. She was made the Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Former union ministers Salman Khurshid, Jitin Prasad and R P N Singh have been fielded from their traditional seats of Farrukhabad, Dhaurahra and Kushi Nagar respectively.
Former UP Congress chief Nirmal Khatri will contest from Faizabad, while Bharatsinh Solanki, the party's ex-chief of the Gujarat unit, has been fielded from the state's Anand constituency.
The party has fielded Imran Masood from Saharanpur, Saleem Iqbal Shervani from Badaun, Annu Tandon from Unnao, Rajaram Pal from Akbarpur, and Brij Lal Khabri from Jalaun (SC).
Apart from Solanki, the other candidates named from Gujarat are - Raju Parmar from Ahmedabad West (SC), Prashant Patel from Vadodra, and Ranjit Mohansinh Rathwa from Chotta Udaipur (ST).
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