New Delhi, Mar 7: The Congress on Thursday released its first list of 15 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, which includes names of party president Rahul Gandhi and chairperson of the Congress parliamentary party Sonia Gandhi.
The list, which was cleared by the central election committee of the Congress and released by AICC General secretary Mukul Wasnik, includes 11 candidates in Uttar Pradesh and four candidates in Gujarat.
While Rahul Gandhi will contest from Amethi, his mother Sonia Gandhi will contest from Rae Bareli, their traditional seats and Congress strongholds that have voted them since 2004 to win.
The first list does not include name of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was made the party general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh in January. The Congress list also includes names of senior leader Salman Khurshid, who will contest from Farrukhabad, where he had contested from and lost in 2014.
The others on the list are Imran Masood from Saharanpur, Jitin Prasad from Dhaurahra, Annu Tandon from Unnao, Rajaram Pal from Akbarpur, Brij Lal Khabri from Jalaun and Nirmal Khatri from Faizabad.
Thursday's announcement also ends speculation about Sonia Gandhi retiring. There was speculation that Priyanka Gandhi could contest from her mother's constituency.
In Gujarat, senior Congress leader Bharatsinh Solanki will contest from Anand. He had won the Lok Sabha elections from the seat in 2004 and 2009. But he lost to Dilipbhai Patel of the BJP in 2014.
Raju Parmar will contest the elections from Ahmedabad West seat, Prashant Patel will contest from Vadodara, and Ranjit Mohansinh Rathwa will contest from Chhota Udaipur seat. Today's list also shows that the Congress is going ahead with its decision to go it alone in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress announced that it will contest all 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh after the Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party announced a grand alliance in January without the party. The rivals-turned-partners made one concession for the Congress; they said they would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli. UNI