Jaipur: The Congress, late on Thursday night, released its first list of 152 candidates for the December 7 polls in Rajasthan.
Ending the suspense over its candidates, the party fielded veteran leaders Ashok Gehlot from Sardarpura, while Sachin Pilot has been given a ticket from Tonk. CP Joshi has been fielded from Nathdwara.
In an attempt to placate competing factions in its Rajasthan unit, the Congress had decided to field both chief ministerial aspirants Gehlot and Pilot in the assembly elections next month.
The Congress high command had to intervene after a section in the party pressed that the Madhya Pradesh formula of not fielding top leadership be emulated in Rajasthan.
Gehlot tried to play down the rift within and said the party high command decides on who will lead the Congress. “We have said many times that whatever Rahul Gandhi decides on CM, we will abide by that. It’s a tradition for Congress in Rajasthan to not declare CM before elections,” he said.
By nominating both Pilot and Gehlot, the Congress has attempted to keep both factions happy.
The party also rewarded turncoats such as Harish Meena and Habibur Rahman, who had switched over from the BJP.
Habibur Rahman, Member of Legislative Assembly from Nagaur, joined the Congress on Wednesday, a day after he quit the BJP over being denied a ticket. The same day, Dausa MP Harish Chandra Meena joined the grand old party in New Delhi. While Meena has been fielded from Deoli Unaira, Rahman has been given a ticket from Nagaur.
Kanhaiyalal Jhanwar, who joined the Congress on Thursday night, was also given a ticket from Bikaner East.
The BJP released its first list of 131 candidates for the elections on November 12, retaining 85 MLAs and putting forward 25 new faces. The list also included 12 women, 32 young leaders, 17 Scheduled Caste and 19 Scheduled Tribe candidates.