While the Election Commission of India is yet to announce the schedule for upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Indian National Congress has released their first list of candidates on March 7th Thursday. Party chief Rahul Gandhi will be contesting from Amethi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will be contesting from Raebareli, just like the previous elections. Sonia Gandhi has been holding the seat from the last five terms. Raebareli and Amethi happens to be the only two seats Congress had managed to win the last time in Uttar Pradesh.
The list consists names of 15 members, 11 of them contesting from Uttar Pradesh and the remaining four from Gujarat. Former Union ministers R P N Singh, Jitin Prasad and Salman Khurshid have maintained their previous seats as well, from Kushi Nagar, Dhaurahra and Farrukhabad respectively. Former UP Congress chief Nirmal Khatri has been assigned to Faizabad.
AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, whose long-awaited entry into active politics has been celebrated by the Indian media and supporters of the Congress Party, is however not included in this first list. She is expected to contest from Uttar Pradesh, as she is given the charge of eastern part of the state.
In Gujarat, Congress’ former chief of Gujarat unit Bharatsinh Solanki will be contesting from Anand constituency, where he had won the seat in 2004 and 2009. He lost to Dilipbhai Patel of BJP in the 2014 poll. Prashant Patel will be fielded from Vadodara constituency. Vadodara and Anand constituencies are some of the stronghold regions of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Indian prime Minister and Gujarat’s former chief minister Narendra Modi had contested and won in Vadodara constituency in the last Lok Sabha election. Apart from this, Raju Parmar contesting from Ahmedabad West seat and Ranjit Mohansinh Rathwa contesting from Chhota Udaipur seat are the other announced candidates from Gujarat.