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HomeNewsRahul Gandhi from Wayanad, confirms Congress first list

Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad, confirms Congress first list

NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi led the first list of Congress candidates for Lok Sabha elections announced on Friday, as the party declared that it is going into the parliamentary contest to seriously dent BJP and is willing to go out of its way to court allies while urging the latter to reciprocate.

The Gandhi scion will contest from his present constituency of Wayanad in Kerala. The list of 39 candidates includes six in Chhattisgarh, seven from Karnataka, 16 from Kerala, four from Telangana. Congress did not answer queries if Rahul will contest from his old seat of Amethi too.

AICC office-bearers K C Venugopal and Ajay Maken released the list at a press conference, specifying that of the 39 candidates, 15 belong to the general category while 24 are from SC/ST/OBC and minorities.

While 12 candidates are below 50 years, eight are between 50-60 years and 12 are between 60-70 years.

The party declared that it is time to remove the “fascist govt” in 2024. Venugopal said Congress’ guarantees announced by president Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi – “yuva nyay” focusing on “promised first job” to all youth through right to apprenticeship and filling of 30 lakh govt vacancies, “hissedari nyay” promising inclusive development through caste census, “kisan nyay” through law on MSP – will be the key planks in the elections.

Given its dim show in the Hindi belt in the recent assembly polls swept by BJP, Congress has decided to pitchfork its senior leaders into the parliamentary battle to shore up its prospects in what will be a challenging election. Former Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghelwill contest from Rajnandgaon while his senior minister Tamradhwaj Sahu (74) has been fielded from Mahasamund. Also, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal will contest the LS polls again after a break in 2019, from his old constituency of Alappuzha in Kerala.

These are indications that veterans may also be asked to contest in other states like Rajasthan, MP, Maharashtra.

In Karnataka, Geetha Sivarajkumar, daughter of late Karnataka CM S Bangarappa, daughter-in-law of late thespian Rajkumar and wife of Kannada star Shivarajkumar, will contest from Shimoga, the stronghold of Yeddyurappa family of BJP. Geetha’s brother Madhu is a senior minister in the Siddaramaiah govt.

D K Suresh, brother of deputy CM D K Shivakumar and the lone Congress winner in 2019, has been fielded again from Bengaluru rural. Former MP Hamdullah Sayeed, son of late Congress leader and Union minister P M Sayeed, will try his luck once more from Lakshadweep, after losing in the last elections.

Congress announced candidates for the 16 seats that it will contest out of 20 as part of the UDF bloc in Kerala. All the sitting 15 MPs barring TN Prathapan of Thrissur have been retained in the southern state, which include senior names like Kodikunnil Suresh, Shashi Tharoor. K Muraleedharan who won in 2019 from Vadakara has been shifted to Thrissur, and MLA Shafi Parambil (minority) will contest from Vadakara.