Denying Lok Sabha ticket to its scam-tainted leader Suresh Kalmadi and his wife, the third Congress list, which includes 58 names fails to suspense on Varanasi seat. The cricketer-turned politician Mohammad Azharuddin has been shifted to Tonk-Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, from Moradabad in UP. The prestigious Pune seat, till now represented by Kalmadi has been given to Vishwajeet Kadam .
Out of 7 Delhi seats, the list has announced five candidates repeating all sitting MPs, Kapil Sibal (Chandni Chowk), Jai Prakash Agarwal (North East Delhi), Sandeep Dikshit (East Delhi) and Ajay Maken (New Delhi).
From riot torn Muzaffarnagar, the party has changed its candidate Suraj S Verma announced earlier. It has now fielded Pankaj Agarwal. The list includes 16 candidates from Rajasthan, four from Maharashtra, eight from Gujarat and five from Delhi. Sachin Pilot will contest from Ajmer and Chandresh Kumari from Jodhpur. In Chhattisgarh, former chief minister Ajit Jogi will contest from Mahasamund, while Phoolo Devi Netam will contest from Kanker. In Haryana, Rao Dharampal will contest from Gurgaon. So far the Congress has announced candidates for 318 seats.
The surprise in the third list has been Azharudin being fielded from Swai Madhopur. He was hopping from West Bengal to Rajasthan to find a suitable place to contest, wanted to be shifted form his Moradabad seat.
Though Muslim are in considerable number in this East Rajasthan Swai Madhopur-Tonk constituency, they have in past rejected the parachuted candidates. This is illustrated by the convincing defeats of Zakia Imam from Tonk and Danish Abrar from Sawai Madhopur, both of whom stood third, in the recently concluded assembly elections. The Congress leader and a local Nambo Narain Meena won Swai Madhopur twice in 2004 and 2009. In assembly seat also in 2008, a local Allaudin Azad won.
The fate of former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan or his wife from Nanded has been kept under suspense by not declaring any candidate for the seat. Three other Maharashtra candidates in the list are: Sanjay Deotale (Chandrapur), Rajendra Gavit (Palghat) and Dattatray Bansode (Latur).
Congress general secretary Madhusudan Mistry, who announced the list at the AICC headquarters here, said 35 per cent of the candidates declared on Tuesday are youth. The remaining candidates will be announced after the next central election committee meeting, he said.
Rajasthan tops with its first 15 candidates declared in the list leaving decision on remaining 10 seats. Party general secretary C P Joshi's demand to shift from his Bhilwara constituency has been conceded, giving him Jaipur (rural) while Mahesh Joshi has been repeated from Jaipur, PCC chief and union minister Sachin Pilot from Ajmer, Union Ministers Girija Vyas from Chitorgarh and Chandresh Kumari Katoch from Jodhpur.
The list also includes Haryana PCC chief Ashok Tanwar seeking re-election from Sirsa, Punjab PCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa from Gurdaspur and Rajasthan PCC chief Pilot from Ajmer.