Azhar, Pilot on Cong list, no name from Varanasi

On Tuesday evening, the Congress came out with its third list of candidates for the Lok Sabha election. Congress leaders like CP Joshi, Sachin Pilot, Ajit Jogi, Ashok Tanwar, Srikant Jena, Mohammad Azharuddin and others figured in the list. No name from Varanasi was announced in this list which carried 58 names.

Congress leader Anil Shastri, who had once represented Varanasi, had floated the idea that to defeat the ‘surge of communal forces’, Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party should think of putting up a combined candidate. Shastri’s loud thinking on a micro-blogging site came after AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal made public his desire to contest against Modi, a decision that would be taken on 25 March. Incidentally, Shastri’s son had joined AAP some months back.

When asked about the development, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told a press conference in Bangalore, ‘Let me tell you there is no reason for me to comment on the war of words between Modi and Kejriwal. Congress is a 125- year-old, all-India party. We will make our choices and decisions in accordance with our philosophy and thinking for each area and each constituency. You will know that soon.’

On the other hand, in Delhi, another spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the party is putting up a candidate with the belief that he will be win the contest against the BJP PM candidate.

Surjewala replied in the affirmative when asked whether the Congress will appeal to all like minded parties to support its candidate in Varanasi against Modi. He said that the Congress candidate needed to be supported by all like minded parties as it alone could carry forward the battle against communalism and divisive forces in a cohesive direction. He faced several questions on the possible candidate for the high-profile contest, but declined to hazard any guess.
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