New Delhi/MP: A sizable of Congress` sitting 65 MLAs in Madhya Pradesh have been named in the party`s first list of 115 candidates for the state assembly polls scheduled on Novembver 25.
The list, made public on Friday, includes the names of at least 25 sitting MLAs.
Names of CLP leader Ajay Singh, son of party veteran late Arjun Singh and over half a dozen young faces also figure in the list.
The young faces and those from Youth Congress background include former Youth Congress Presidents Priyavrat Singh and Jeetu Singh, Sanjay Pathak and Nishith Patel.
Deputy CLP leader Bisahulal Singh, former Vice President of Madhya Pradesh Congress Satyadev Katare, former Samajwadi Party President Narayan Tripathi and ex PCC chief Radhakrishna Malviya`s son Ramlal Malviya also figure in the list.
Others include PCC general secretaries Ravi Joshi, Bala Bachchan and ex MP Surajbhan Singh Solanki.
While there are young faces, there are also old guards like octogenarian Hajarilal Raghuwanshi (84).
While the party today released the names of candidates for only 115 of the total 230 seats, sources say candidates for 194 seats have already been finalized and the rest could be named soon after a meeting of the Central Election Committee tomorrow.
Elections are due in the state on November 25. The party`s projected face for the assembly election Jyotiraditya Scindia is unlikely to be fielded.
Notwithstanding the party`s earlier assertion that nominations for assembly elections would be announced three months in advance, even the first list of candidates for Madhya Pradesh state elections could be out only when 24 days are left for the polling.
Sources say the hitch on some names still remains. A final decision on over two dozen seats are yet to be taken.
Congress general secretary Jaivardhan Singh is one of the probables among half a dozen kin of party leaders. Party MP Vijay Laxmi Sadho`s brother Devendra Sadho, who had lost a by-election in 2012 by a margin of around 35 thousand votes, is also likely to be fielded.
While there was a provision that anybody, who had lost the last assembly election by a margin of 15 thousand votes, the argument given in favour of Sadho was that it was not a general assembly election but a by-election.
Around ten meetings of Screening Committee have been held to finalize the names of candidates in the faction-ridden Congress unit in the state.
Besides this, tickets are also being given to all the party runner-ups in the last assembly poll, who lost their seats by a margin of one thousand votes or less. There were eight such candidates, out of whom names of seven have been cleared by the Screening Committee.
One such candidate and a very senior party leader Srinivas Tiwari, who had lost the last election by around 170 votes, wants a ticket for his son and hence the matter has been referred to the Congress leadership, a party functionary said.
The party had finalzied some broad criteria for ticket distribution in states like not fielding candidates who lost two consecutive elections or who lost by a margin of 15 thousand votes or more.
Two MPs of the party Uday Pratap Singh and Gajendra Singh Rajukhedi want to contest the assembly election. Party sources said the trouble is that Rajukhedi wants to contest from Kukshi seat from where there is already a strong contender.
A party leader said there is a fear that if the latter contests as a rebel, he can queer the pitch for Rajukhedi who does not want to contest from Marwar, a seat falling in his area.
A consensus had emerged over the name of a candidate for
Jabalpur area but some CD surfaced about his demanding money and his name was withheld.
A sleaze scandal CD on Congress MLA Satyanaryan Patel, which went viral on net sometime ago, has already led to a controversy with the MLA blaming it on insiders. It was later found to be morphed.
Congress has made serious efforts to put up a united face in the state where the party has a number of stalwarts like Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Digvijay Singh, Suresh Pachouri, Satyavrat Chaturvedi and others but suffers from factionalism.
Congress is out of power in Madhya Pradesh for a decade. Digvijay Singh was the last Congress Chief Minister there and after losing out to BJP, Singh had taken a vow not to contest elections for ten years.
In Chhattisgarh, the party completed its process of finalizing candidates as names of last four nominees were released by AICC today. With this, the names of all 90 candidates stand announced.
On October 29, Congress had released its third list of 24 candidates and the first list of 17 candidates on October 11 followed by the second list of 45 on October 22.