NEW DELHI: Hours after it sealed a pre-poll pact with Samajwadi Party, Congress today released its first list of 43 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, that include former Union minister Jitin Prasad and controversial leader Imran Masood.
While Masood, who is known for his hate speech against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, will contest Nakur seat, Prasad will fight from Tilhar Assembly constituency.
Some of the other names in the list include Mukesh Choudhary, who will contest Deoband Assembly constituency, while Pradeep Mathur has been fielded from Mathura seat.
After an initial list of 41 candidates, AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry later released a list of two additional nominees cleared by the party's Central Election Committee (CEC), which include Masud Akhtar from Saharanpur Nagar and Sherbaz Khan from Chandpur Assembly constituency.
Samajwadi Party and Congress today sealed a pre-poll pact to contest the UP Assembly elections, ending days of suspense and feverish parleys, with compulsions of realpolitik forcing the two parties to come together to thwart BJP's attempt to storm back to power after 15 years.
The alliance, which at one stage looked doomed with both sides driving a hard bargain, was announced by the chiefs of the state units of the two parties who declared while SP will have the lion's share of 298 of 403 seats, Congress will contest the remaining 105.
The seven phase polls in the state will start on February 11.