Congress announces 51 candidates for Maharashtra polls in first list

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Sonia Gandhi tried to sort out differences among the higher ranks of the party during the CWC meeting | PTI/File

The Congress on Sunday released its first list of 51 candidates for the next month’s Maharashtra Assembly elections, fielding former chief minister Ashok Chavan from the Bhokar constituency and state party chief Vijay alias Balasaheb Thorat from Sangamner.

The party has fielded 23 sitting MLAs, out of the 42 seats it had won in the 2014 assembly polls.

Ashok Chavan’s wife, Amita Sharma-Chavan, is sitting MLA from Bhokar. She had contested her maiden election in 2014 after Chavan won the Lok Sabha election that year. Former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son Amit has been fielded from the Latur City seat, while ex-Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s daughter Praniti will contest from the Solapur City Central.

The first list also includes candidates from nine constituencies in Mumbai. Ashok alias Bhai Jagtap, who is the party’s sitting MLC, will contest the assembly election from Colaba constituency in Mumbai. BJP’s chief whip in the state assembly and six-time MLA Raj K Purohit currently represents this constituency.

The next generation of Congress leaders also made their way into the election with Ruturaj Sanjay Patil, nephew of sitting MLC Satej Patilm, being fielded from the Kolhapur south seat. The party also fielded Ashok Patil Nilangekar, son of former Maharashtra chief minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, from Nilanga seat in Latur district.

Currently, the constituency is represented by Ashok’s nephew and state Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar. There are 12 assembly constituencies in Nagpur and 62 in Vidarbha region. The lone sitting Congress MLA in Nagpur district, Sunil Kedar, who represents the Saoner constituency, has also found a place in the list.

Senior party leader Nitin Raut, who heads the party’s SC department, has been fielded from the Nagpur North (reserved) constituency. BJP’s MLA Milind Mane is the sitting MLA from this constituency. The party has fielded Leader of Opposition Vijay Waddetiwar from Bramhapuri. He is the sitting MLA from there.

Anil Mangrulkar (Yavatmal), Yashomati Thakur (Teosa in Amravati), Ranjit Kamble (Deoli in Wardha), Amar Kale (Arvi in Wardha) and Satish Varjurkar (Chimur) are some other candidates from the Vidarbha region. The list of candidates was finalised after the party’s Central Election Committee met under the chairmanship of party chief Sonia Gandhi and cleared the names. The assembly elections for the 288-member House in Maharashtra will be held on October 21 and results will be out on October 24.

Congress announces bypoll candidates

The Congress also released a list of its candidates on Sunday for (September 29) bypolls to a Lok Sabha seat and various Assembly constituencies in Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“Congress president Sonia Gandhi has approved proposals for the candidature of Ashok Kumar for Samastipur-SC Lok Sabha constituency,” a party statement said.

She has also approved the candidatures of Sayeeda Banu from the Kishanganj Assembly seat in Bihar, Rita Chaudhary from Mandawa in Rajasthan, Harendra Mirdha from the Khinwsar Assembly constituency in Rajasthan and Mannu Devi for the Balha-SC Assembly segment in Uttar Pradesh, it added.

In another statement, the party said Gandhi has approved the candidatures of four nominees for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly bypolls. The grand old party will field Gulabsinh Pirabhai Rajput from the Tharad seat, Patel Jasubhai Shivabhai from Bayad, Dharmendrabhai Shantilal Patel from Amraiwadi and Chauhan Gulabsinh Somsinh from Lunawada in Gujarat.

Voting for the bypolls will be held on October 21 and the results will be declared on October 24.

BJP announces bypoll candidates for 32 assembly seats

The BJP on Sunday named its candidates for bypolls to 32 Assembly constituencies. The central election committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finalised the names, it said in a statement.

Of the 32 Assembly seats, 10 are in Uttar Pradesh, five in Kerala, four in Assam, two each in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Sikkim and one each in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana.

Bypolls will be held for 51 Assembly seats on October 21, along with the state elections in Haryana and Maharashtra.  The BJP is likely to name the candidates for the remaining seats soon, it said.