The first list of 30 candidates released by the Congress is dominated by first timers, both young and old. Fourteen of the candidates would be contesting an election for the first time, while it will be the first Lok Sabha election campaign for three candidates.
The list, however, features the names of 12 former MPs, of which six are sitting. Sources in the Congress said that the remaining nine candidates were likely to be greenhorns.
In what is being touted by the Congress as a result of party heir Rahul Gandhi’s attempt to infuse fresh blood into the party, about half the first-timers given tickets have had ties with the Youth Congress.
However, the list also features two cases of fathers bequeathing seats to sons. Karti P Chidambaram took over the Sivaganga seat from his father Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, while former MLA Vishnu Prasad, took over the Arani seat from his father, former TNCC president M Krishnaswamy.
Two other first-timers hail from political families - Mohan Kumaramangalam (Salem), son of former Union Minister Rangarajan Kumaramangalam and P N Bharat Natchiappan (Madurai), nephew of Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry E M Sudarsana Natchiappan.
Among the notable names on the first list of candidates is former Namakkal (SC) MLA K Jayakumar, fighting on his first Lok Sabha ticket. Also, making a return to the Congress ticket is party veteran P Vallalperuman, who would be contesting for the sixth time from the Chidambaram (SC) constituency.
Six former MPs would be making a bid to return to the Lok Sabha, such as Vallalperuman, R Prabhu, R Devadoss and former Union Ministers E V K S Elangovan and S Thirunavukkarasar. Also on this list is former Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, the only Brahmin so far to be named a candidate by a major political party.