Rahul Gandhi will contest from his home turf Amethi (File Photo: PTI)
Congress on Thursday released first list of 15 candidates for Lok Sabha elections 2019. Out of 15 candidates, 11 are from Uttar Pradesh and 4 from Gujarat. Names of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi have appeared in the first list. Another prominent name in the list is senior party leader and former union minister Salman Khurshid.
The first list was finalised at a meeting of the party's central election committee chaired by Rahul Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi - Rae Bareli, Rahul Gandhi – Amethi, Salman Khurshid – Farrukhabad, Rajaram Pal – Akbarpur, Brij Lal Khabri - Jalaun (SC), Nirmal Khatri – Faizabad, RPN Singh – Kushi Nagar, Imran Masood – Saharanpur, Saleem Iqbal Shervani – Badaun, Jitin Prasad – Dhaurahra and Annu Tandon – Unnao are the candidates who will contest the elections from Uttar Pradesh.
Name of the candidates who have been fielded from Gujarat are - Raju Parmar - Ahmedabad West (SC), Bharatsinh M Solanki – Anand, Prashant Patel – Vadodara, Ranjit Mohansinh Rathwa - Chhota Udaipur (ST).
Announcement of first list of candidates selected by Congress Central Election Committee for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. pic.twitter.com/FEzssyx3uV— Congress (@INCIndia) March 7, 2019
Besides the two top leaders of the Congress party, other important names in the list are former union ministers Jitin Prasad and R P N Singh who have been fielded from their traditional seats. Former UP Congress chief Nirmal Khatri will contest from Faizabad and Bharatsinh Solanki, the party's ex-chief of the Gujarat unit, has been fielded from the state's Anand constituency.
Controversial Congress leader Imran Masood, who had in 2014 threatened to ‘chop Narendra Modi into pieces’, has been fielded from Saharanpur.
The Congress has released the list of 11 candidates for the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh amid reports that the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have started a fresh round of talks with the Congress to include the grand old party in their alliance.
Even though the SP, the BSP and the RLD have finalised the seat-sharing formula, the alliance will now re-work on their pact and include the Congress. According to sources, the Congress may be given 13 more seats which will make its tally to 15 seats as the grand alliance had already decided not to field candidates on two seats - Amethi and Rae Bareli.
Earlier, the Congress party had demanded 20 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. However, both Akhilesh and Mayawati agreed to give just 15 seats but the Congress rejected the offer. In the fresh round of talks, the Congress demanded 15 more seats, excluding Amethi and Rae Bareli. However, sources said that SP and BSP are willing to give just 13 more seats.