Congress releases first list for Uttar Pradesh polls

August 22nd, 2011 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Lucknow, Aug 22 (IANS) The Congress Monday released its first list of 73 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections with familiar names like state Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi being fielded from Lucknow Cantonment and Louise Khurshid, wife of union minister Salman Khurshid, again getting the Farrukhabad ticket.

The list of candidates was finalised by the Congress Election Committee headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Congress general secretaries Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh, who is also in-charge of the party’s Uttar Pradesh affairs, as well as Congress Legislature Party (CLP) chief Pramod Tiwari and Rita Bahuguna Joshi were among those who attended the meeting in New Delhi last week.

The list includes the names of prominent leaders, who had proved their strength by winning the last election in 2007 or those who had put up a good fight, said party leaders.

Elections to the 403-member assembly are due in May 2012, though the Election Commission had indicated February as the probable schedule for the poll.

Pramod Tiwari has been named for the Rampur Khas seat in Pratapgarh from where he has been winning for the past three decades.

Wives of three important Congress MPs have also been awarded party tickets. Besides Louise Khurshid, who already represents Farrukhabad in the assembly, Amita Singh, wife of Sultanpur MP Sanjay Singh, has been named as the party nominee from Amethi assembly constituency, and Supriya Aron, wife of Bareilly MP Praveen Singh Aron, for the Bareilly Cantonment seat.

A journalist-turned-politician, Supriya is currently Bareilly mayor.

Among the other prominent names in the list are Pradeep Mathur from his traditional stronghold Mathura, Ajay Kapoor from Kidwai Nagar in Kanpur, Ranjit Singh Judeo from Garhaura, Vivek Singh from Banda, Anugrah Narain Singh from Allahabad (North), Shiv Ganesh Lodhi from Harchandpur in Rae Bareli, Shiv Balak Pasi from Salon in Amethi and Shyam Kishore Shukla from Lucknow (West)

Though it is quite unusual for the Congress to release its candidates so much in advance, party insiders said this was done at the behest of Rahul Gandhi, who was apparently prompted by the early release of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) list.

The Congress has been out of power in the country’s most populous state since 1989.

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