Raj Babbar, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee’s (UPCC) President, on Friday late night tweeted that the party has selected its faces for both Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats, which will go into polls on March 11.
Manish Mishra, a member of UPCC and general secretary of the state unit, will contest the elections from Phulpur. Mishra is the son of former IAS officer KN Mishra, who quit the services to work with Indira Gandhi.
While Surhita Chatterjee Karim, a doctor who has been associated with the party for the past 30 years, will be the face contesting from Gorakhpur district. Congress district general Anwar Hussain said that Dr Karim was a renowned gynaecologist and a social worker who is also the spokesperson of the UPCC and has contested mayoral elections in 2012.
The announcement by Babbar got many UPCC workers by surprise as this election will be the testing point for the party before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The seats, in which the polls will be conducted, were vacated by CM Yogi Aditya Nath and CM Keshav Prasad Maurya in 2017.
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The announcement of the candidates comes even before the SP is yet to declare its candidate and BSP has refused to contest the bypolls. February 20 is the last day for filing the nominations.
While the SP and Congress had formed an alliance to contest the 2017 UP polls, Krishna Patel of the Apna Dal had announced that it was in talks with Congress for a grand alliance in the bypolls against the BJP.
But now, with the Congress’ candidates list been declared, the possibility of the alliance has ended.