The Congress on Thursday ended the speculation on a possible tie-up with the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party by announcing its first list of 11 candidates for Uttar Pradesh. Notable among its candidates are UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who will once again be contesting from her traditional seat in Rae Bareli and Congress President Rahul Gandhi from Amethi.
Other prominent candidates chosen by the party are Imran Masood from Saharnpur, Salman Khurshid from Farrukhabad, Saleem Iqbal Shervani from Badaun, Jitin Prasad from Dhaurahra, Rajaram Pal from Akbarpur, Brijlal Khabri from Jalaun (SC seat), Nirmal Khatri from Faizabad, Annu Tandon from Unnao and RPN Singh from Khushi Nagar.
The party also released a list of four candidates for Gujarat. They are Raju Parmar from Ahmedabad West Bharat Singh Solanki from Anand, Prashant Patel from Vadodara and Ranjit Mohansingh Rathwa from Chhota Udaipur.
The Election Commission may decide the dates for this year’s Lok Sabha polls any time soon. In 2014, the BJP had won 73 out of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh with the help of Anupriya Patel’s Apna Dal. The Congress had won just two seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli in 2014.
In Gujarat, the saffron party had won all 26 seats in the last parliamentary polls.
Earlier, the SP-BSP had decided to leave two seats for the Congress in Amethi and Rae Bareli as part of the grand alliance deal, but this wasn’t acceptable to the Congress, which has now decided to go alone. The Congress is hopeful that Priyanka Gandhi’s entry in politics may help the country’s grand old party revive itself in the largest state of India, where it once governed for several decades.