New Delhi, October 15
The Congress on Sunday announced the first list of candidates for next month’s Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. For the 230-member strong Madhya Pradesh House, the Congress has announced 144 names.
Kamal Nath, chief of the party’s state unit and former Chief Minister, will once again contest from Chhindwara seat. Vikram Mastal, who played the role of Lord Hanuman in a TV serial (Ramayan), has been fielded against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from the Budhni constituency.
The Congress has named 69 sitting MLAs and dropped three, including former Assembly Speaker ND Prajapati. Thirty-nine candidates are first-timers, while 36 are the ones who had lost in the 2018 Assembly polls or in the bypolls in 2020. Nineteen women have been fielded.
There are 30 Other Backward Class (OBC) candidates with OBC mahapanchayat leader Sahab Singh Gurjar named from the Gwalior (rural) seat. About 40 per cent of the state’s population is OBC and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had recently announced that a Bihar-like caste survey would be held in MP if the Congress came to power.
Former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh’s son Jaivardhan Singh, MLA from Raghogarh, has been again fielded from the seat.
For the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly, the Congress announced the first 30 names today. Twenty-two sitting MLAs, including Chief Minster Bhupesh Baghel, Deputy Chief Minister TS Singh Deo, their Cabinet colleagues and state Assembly Speaker Charandas Mahant have been given tickets. Baghel will contest from the Patan constituency, where he will be up against his distant nephew and Durg MP Vijay Baghel as the BJP nominee. Singh Deo has been fielded from the Ambikapur seat. The party has fielded Deepak Baij, Bastar MP and Chhattisgarh Congress president, from the Chitrakoot seat.
Of the 30 seats in the party’s first list, 14 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes, three for Scheduled Caste categories and the rest are unreserved seats. The party has fielded nine OBC candidates and denied tickets to eight sitting MLAs. The Congress list features four women candidates, including a minister and two sitting MLAs.
Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation chairman Girish Dewangan has been fielded from the Rajnandgaon seat against former Chief Minister and BJP candidate Raman Singh. In the case of Telangana, the first list of 55 names is a mix of seniors, including sitting legislators and Lok Sabha members and defectors from other parties.
Telangana Congress chief A Revanth Reddy, who lost the Assembly election from the Kodangal constituency in 2018, has been re-nominated from Kodangal. CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka has been retained from the Madhira SC reserved seat.
While Madhya Pradesh will go to the polls on November 17, Chhatisgarh Assembly elections will be held in two phases on November 7 and 17 and the Telangana elections will be held on November 30.
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