Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Saturday announced its first list of 194 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls with party president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and IT expert Nandan Nilekani among the prominent names.
With its first list today, Congress has declared 28 women candidates for the elections which will be held between April 07 and May 12.
Party sources said 35% of the candidates are under the age of 50 and approximately 15% are women candidates.
“CEC has declared names of 194 LS seats, 35 % of the candidates are youth, 15% are women,” senior Congressman Madhusudan Mistry told reporters here.
The Congress party has decided to field Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareily and Rahul Gandhi from Amethi.
Bhojpuri films star Ravi Kishen, Oriya actors Aparajita Mohanty and Bijay Mohanty are being fielded by Congress in the Lok Sabha polls.
The nominees also include cricketer Mohammed Kaif, Atal Bihari Vajpayee`s niece Karuna Shukla and Justice Hanumanthappa.
While Aadhar chief Nilekani is being fielded from Bangalore South, Ravi Kishen is the nominee from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Aparajita Mohanty is the candidate from Cuttack while Bijay from Bhubaneshwar.
Kaif is the candidate from Phulpur, a constituency in Uttar Pradesh once represented by Jawaharlal Nehru, Karuna Shukla is the nominee from Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh while justice Hanumanthappa from Bellary in Karnataka.
The Central Election Committee of the party, headed by Sonia Gandhi, has finalised the list which included several sitting members including union ministers.
The first list includes more than 60 sitting members from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajashtan, Karnataka and some north eastern states, a PTI report said.
Among the union ministers figuring in the list are Sushilumar Shinde from Sholapur in Maharastra, Salman Khurshid from Farrukhabad, Sriprakash Jaiswal from Kanpur, Beni Prasad Verma from Gonda, (all in Uttar Prdesh), Kamal Nath from Chhindwara and Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna in Madhya Pradesh, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary from Behrampur (West Bengal), Parneet Kaur from Patiala (Punjab), Girija Vyas from Chittorgarh (Rajasthan), K H Muniyappa from Kolar and Mallikarjun Kharge from Gulbarga, (Karnataka).
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has been renominated from Sasaram and former IPS officer Nikhil Kumar, who resigned as Kerala Governor just two days ago, was fielded from Aurangabad in Bihar, from where Congress has declared candidates for 10 of the 12 seats it got in alliance with Lalu Prasad`s RJD.
Gujarat CLP leader Shankersinh Vaghela has been fielded
from Sabarkantha, Union Minister Bharatbhai Solanki from Anand and Tushar Chaudhary from Bardoli while party general secretaries Mukul Wasnik, Gurudas Kamat, AICC Secretary Priya Dutt are among those renominated from their respective seats in Maharashtra.
This is for the first time in several years that Congress has finalized so many candidates for general elections soon after announcement of the poll schedule.
Bhausaheb Walchaure, a sitting member of Shiv Sena from Shirdi in Maharashtra who joined Congress last month, has been fielded by the party from the same seat.
The party has reposed its faith in seven-time MP Vilas Muttemwar after some initial dithering to take on former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur in Maharashtra.
Amita Singh, wife of outgoing MP from Sultanpur Sanjay Singh, has been fielded from the seat. Sanjay Singh was recently brought to Rajya Sabha from Assam after reports of his warming up to BJP.
Former AICC Secretary Bhola Pandey, who had lost elections thrice, has been renominated from Salempur. Annu Tandon has been renominated from Unnao and Praveen Singh Aroan from Bareli in UP.
AK Antony committee had recommended early candidate selection so as to give time to the nominees to campaign for the polls.
With PTI inputs