Turncoats, Former MPs Who Can Hurt SP-BSP Alliance Find Place in Congress’ Second List For UP
The second list has names of 16 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, taking the total number of candidates announced by the party for the electorally crucial state, where it was overlooked for an alliance, to 27.
Lucknow: The Congress on Wednesday released its second list of 21 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, fielding former parliamentarians from its ranks and three turncoats who can damage the prospects of the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
The second list has names of 16 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, taking the total number of candidates announced by the party for the electorally crucial state, where it was overlooked for an alliance, to 27. The list also includes five candidates from Maharashtra.
It comes a day after BSP supremo Mayawati explicitly ruled out any possibility of teaming up with the Congress, not just in Uttar Pradesh but in any state.
Former BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule, who had recently joined Congress, was given a return gift in form of ticket from reserved seat Bahraich, while UP Congress chief and former MP Raj Babbar, who had lost from Ghaziabad in the last Lok Sabha elections, will be contesting from Moradabad for the first time.
The list includes two more former MPs who made the switch to Congress earlier this month –Kaiser Jahan, who was removed from the BSP, has been fielded from Sitapur while Rakesh Sachan, who was in SP, will contest from Fatehpur.
Both Jahan and Sachan had won the two seats in 2009, but lost to the Modi wave in 2014. They had joined the Congress within a day of each other earlier this month.
Former parliamentarians Zafar Ali Naqvi, who has been given a ticket from Kehri, and Ratna Singh, who will contest from Pratapgarh, have also found a place in the list. Former UP chief minister Kamalapati Tripathi’s great grandson Lalitesh Pati Tripathi has been given a ticket from Mirzapur.
The second list also includes the names of several candidates who have been fielded from reserved seats. Omwati Devi Jatav has been fielded from Nagina, Manjari Rahi from Misrikh, Kush Saurabh from Bansgaon, Pankaj Mohan Sonkar from Lalganj and Bhagwati Prasad Choudhary from Robertsganj.
Apart from this, the Congress has fielded Ramashankar Bhargava from Mohanlalganj, Sanjay Singh from Sultanpur and Shripakash Jaiswal from Kanpur.
The Congress had released its first list with 11 candidates from Uttar Pradesh on March 7 in which it had announced that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will contest from Rae Bareli once again and party president Rahul Gandhi will fight the polls from Amethi.
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.
Both the first and the second list however do 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 RPN Singh have been fielded from their traditional seats of Farrukhabad, Dhaurahra and Kushi Nagar respectively.