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Congress releases 1st list of 39 candidates for LS polls; Rahul to contest from Wayanad

Congress releases 1st list of 39 candidates for LS polls; Rahul to contest from Wayanad

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will contest the Lok Sabha polls from Kerala's Wayanad again, the party announced on Friday as it released its first list of 39 candidates.

Congress general secretary K C Venugopal will contest from Alappuzha (Kerala), former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel from Rajnandgaon, Jyotsna Mahant from Korba, Tamradhwaj Sahu from Mahasamund and Shashi Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram.

Venugopal said the list has 15 general category candidates while 24 are from the SC, ST, OBC and minority communities.

Congress treasurer Ajay Maken said the list has a good mix of youth and experience.

The announcement came a day after the Congress' Central Election Committee (CEC) finalised the names for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections after having a discussion on over 60 Lok Sabha seats from 11 states and union territories.

The CEC meeting which was chaired by party president Mallikarjun Kharge.

Discussions were held on Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Sikkim, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Lakshwadeep.

"We are in election mode and on an aggressive path of campaigning with Rahul Gandhi undertaking the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra which is in Gujarat," Venugopal said.

The Nyay Yatra will end on March 17 in Mumbai with a mammoth rally planned and Congress president Kharge is writing to all INDIA bloc partners to attend that rally, he said.

Kharge, former party chief Sonia Gandhi and Venugopal, as well as other senior leaders who are part of the CEC were present at the meeting.

There is speculation that Rahul Gandhi may also contest from Amethi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from Rae Bareli, a seat which was previously held by Sonia Gandhi. Both the seats are considered bastions of the Gandhi family and the local units of the Congress have demanded that the two scions of the Congress first family should contest from there.

Rahul Gandhi, who was previously an MP from Amethi, lost the seat in 2019 but won from Wayanad in Kerala.

Ambika Soni, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, T S Singhdeo and Mohammad Jawaid are other members of the CEC.

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