Sonia, Rahul, Nilekani in Congress’ first list

New Delhi, March 8: Congress president Sonia Gandhi (Rae Bareli) and vice president Rahul Gandhi (Amethi) figure in the first list of party candidates for the Lok Sabha elections released here Saturday.

Apart from the two Gandhis, the list has 192 more names including Unique Identification Authority of India chairman and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, who has been fielded from Bangalore South, and cricketer Mohammad Kaif has been fielded from Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla, who joined the Congress last month, has been fielded from Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh.

Among the union ministers fielded, Sushil Kumar Shinde will contest from Solapur (Maharashtra), Kamal Nath from his traditional Chhindwara and Jyotiraditya Scindia from Gwalior (both Madhya Pradesh), Mallikarjun Kharge from Gulbarga (Karnataka) and Girija Vyas from Chittorgarh (Rajasthan).

Other ministers contesting are Paban Singh Ghatowar from Dibrugarh and Ranee Narah from Lakhimpur (both Assam), Salman Khurshid from Farrukhabad, Sriprakash Jaiswal from Kanpur, R.P.N. Singh from Kushi Nagar (all in Uttar Pradesh), Preneet Kaur from Patiala (Punjab) and Deepa Dasmunsi from Raiganj in West Bengal.

Union minister Miland Deora will contest from Mumbai South and Jitin Prasada from Dhaurahara in Uttar Pradesh.

Other prominent names in the list include Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar (Sasaram – Bihar), Naveen Jindal (Kurukshetra), Mukul Wasnik (Ramtek – Maharashtra), Vilas Muttemwar (Nagpur), Meenakshi Natarajan (Mandsour) and Amita Singh (Sultanpur- UP), Deepender Singh Hooda (Rohtak), Gurudas Kamat (Mumbai North West), Sanjay Nirupam (Mumbai North), Priya Dutt (Mumabi North Central), P.L. Punia (Barabanki and Nirmal Khatri (Faizabad).

The party declared 50 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, 10 each from Assam and Bihar, nine each from Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, seven from Haryana, six from Jharkhand, 14 from Karnataka, 22 from Madhya Pradesh, 13 from Maharashtra, nine from Odisha, four from Punjab, six from Rajasthan, two from Tripura and 17 from West Bengal.

It also announced candidates from Andaman and Nicobar islands, Meghalaya and Mizoram.

IANS