New Delhi: Umesh Patel, Alka Mudliyar and Devti Karma, close relatives of three prominent Chhattisgarh Congress leaders who were killed in the May 25 Maoist attack, figure in the first list of 17 party candidates announced for the Assembly polls next month.
Umesh, son of the slain PCC chief Nandkumar Patel is fielded from Kharsia, Alka, wife of former MLA Vijay Mudliary is the party nominee from Rajnandgaon, the constituency currently being represented by Chief Minister Raman Singh of the BJP.
Devti Karma, wife of late Mahendra Karma, a former Home Minister who was a guiding force behind " Salwa Judum" (anti-Naxal operation by vigilante groups), has been fielded from Dantewada-ST seat.
Party MLA Kawasi Lakhma, who was involved in a controversy after the attack, has been renominated from Konta-ST.
Chhattisgarh has 90-member Assembly and the polls there are being held in two phases next month.
Congress is out of power in the state for 10 years and is making concerted efforts to oust the ruling BJP. In good news to the faction-ridden Congress, the party high command appears to have won over former chief minister Ajit Jogi.
Jogi, who has the distinction of being the first chief minister of Chhattisgarh when it was carved out of Madhya Pradesh, was sulking for some time.