The Congress has allotted Bilaspur Lok Sabha seat in Chhattisgarh to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla.
She had joined the Congress last week, criticising BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh. In the 2004 elections Karuna had won from Korba seat.
The party also nominated Deepak Karma, son of senior tribal leader Mahendra Karma who was killed by Maoists in May last, from Bastar.
The list has the name of Union Minister of State for Agriculture Charan Das Mahant as the party’s nominee from Korba, from where he was elected in 2009.
Chhaya Verma, who was earlier the chairman of Rajpur Zilla Panchayat, has been fielded from Raipur, where she would face former Union minister and senior BJP leader Ramesh Bais.
No candidate has been announced for Mahasamund and Kanker constituencies. Former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi was elected from Mahasamund in the 2004 elections, defeating party veteran V C Shukla who was among the killed in the Maoist ambush in Bastar.
According to sources close to Jogi, he has been asked to contest from Kanker constituency. They further said the party has asked him to contest either from Mahasamund or Kanker, a tribal dominated constituency.
Pratibha, daughter of the late V C Shukla is also an aspirant from Mahasamund.
Tamradhwaj Sahu, a former minister in the Jogi Cabinet, is the Congress nominee from Durg, where the BJP is likely to re-nominate party’s women wing chief Saroj Pandey, who has the distinction of winning the Mayoral election by a record margin of 68000 votes.
The Congress has also announced 20 candidates from Madhya Pradesh. The list is on the expected lines, with only one surprise name of former Advocate General Vivek Tankha being given the ticket from Jabalpur. Tankha is considered close to party general secretary Digvijay Singh.
Another close associate of Digvijay, retired bureaucrat Bhagirath Prasad would be contesting from Bhind. The party has nominated sitting MPs, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kamal Nath, Sajjan Singh Verma, Arun Yadav, Meenakshi Natrajan, Kantilal Bhuria and Prem Chand Guddu from their respective seats.