Sonia Gandhi to contest again, Priyanka unlikely

 Putting an end to speculations over contesting of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi (72) in Lok Sabha polls, due to her poor health, The Congress released its first list of candidates, in which names of both Sonia Gandhi and party chief Rahul Gandhi were figured, stating that they will contest from their present constituencies of Raebareli and Amethi, respectively.

Till now, speculations are going on that newly appointed Priyanka Gandhi, her daughter, is likely to contest from Sonia’s constituency. As Priyanka’s name didn’t figured in the list of candidates, now it is clear that she is unlikely to contest in these polls.

By announcing its candidates for 11 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress has indicated that it is no more looking for seat sharing with BSP and SP. The first list carried names for 15 seats, including 4 from Gujarat.

SP’s Akhilesh Yadav and BSP’s Mayawati had earlier said that their front would not contest from Rae Bareli or Amethi to ensure that they did not cut into the anti-BJP votes in seats represented by Rahul and Sonia and to ensure the Congress leaders did not remain tied down to their respective constituencies.

In the 9 seats declared by the Congress, four have been assigned to Samajwadi Party candidates and the other five, to the Bahujan Samaj Party. Imran Masood has been fielded from Saharanpur while Salman Khurshid will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Farukkhabad in Uttar Pradesh.

In Gujarat, Raju Parmar will contest from Ahmedabad West, which is a reserved seat for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and  Ranjitsinh Mohansinh Rathwa will be contesting the Chhota Udaipur seat, which is a reserved seat for the Scheduled Tribes (ST).

In Uttar Pradesh, Saleem Iqbal Sheervani will be from Badaun, Jitin Prasad from Dhaurahra, Annu Tandon from Unnao and Rajaram Pal from Akbarpur. Brij Lal Khabri will be from Jalaun reserved seat.

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