NEW DELHI: The Congress party on late Wednesday evening released its second list of 21 candidates – 16 for UP and five from Maharashtra.
The party has decided to shift Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar to the city of brass -- Moradabad --in western UP to test the poll waters this time.
Babbar had contested 2014 Lok Sabha election from Ghaziabad and had lost it to BJP’s Gen VP Singh.
Congress released its second list just a day after being snubbed by BSP chief Mayawati who ruled out any possibility of a truck with the grand old party in the ensuing elections.
In UP, the party has rewarded three turncoats – Savitri Bai Phule from BJP, Kaiser Jahan from BSP and Rakesh Sachan from SP.
While Phule has been given ticket from Bahraich, a reserved seat from where she had been a sitting BJP MP for the last four and a half years.
She had quit BJP due to her differences with the party over issues related to Dalits in December and joined Congress very recently. Phule has been fielded from her own constituency.
Similarly, Kaiser Jahan, former Bahujan Samaj Party lawmaker, who joined Congress just last week, has been given ticket from Sitapur, a seat that she had represented in the lower house in 2009 as a BSP candidate.
In 2014, she was the runner-up from this seat. Rakesh Sachan, a Samajwadi Party turncoat has been given ticket from Fatehpur.
Like Badaun, Congress has fielded yet another strong candidate – Lalitesh Pati Tripathi—against Samajwadi Party’s Rajendra S Bind in Mirzapur, eastern UP. Tripathi is the great-grandson of one time Congress stalwart and former UP CM Kamla Pati Tripathi.
The party has retained other veterans such as Sriprakash Jaiswal from Kanpur. Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Sinh has been fielded from Sultanpur. Sinh is the Rajya Sabha member from Assam and his term is set to expire on April 9, 2020.
Besides, ex-MPs Ratna Singh has been fielded from Pratapgarh and Zafar Ali Naqvi from Kheri.
Moreover, Bhagwati Prasad Chaudhary has been given ticket from Robertsganj (ST) in eastern UP, Pankaj Mohan Sonkar from Lalaganj (SC), Kush Saurabh from Bansgaon (SC), Parvez Khan from Sant Kabir Nagar. While Ramshankar Bhargawa has been given ticket from Mohanlalganj (SC), Manjari Rahi has been fielded from Misrikh.
What is more, the nomination of Omvati Devi Jatav from Nagina reserved seats has ended the speculation over the prospective candidature of Bheem Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad from Congress.
Prominent among five candidates announced for Maharashtra in the second list includes former union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde from Solapur (reserved for Scheduled Castes), ex-union minister Milind Deora from Mumbai South, former MPs Nana Patole from Nagpur against Union minister Nitin Gadkari and Priya Dutt from Mumbai North Central.
Prominent tribal leader Namdeo Dalluji Usendi has been fielded from Gadchiroli-Chimur seat.