The Congress expected to contest around 175 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly elections is believed to have cleared 140 to 150 candidates including Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, as it continued seat-sharing parleys with NCP to break the stalemate over a few seats.
Chavan and several of his cabinet colleagues got the nod after marathon meetings of the Central Election Committee spread over two sessions that ended tonight, sources said.
Sources said 140 to 150 names of candidates were discussed and cleared at the meetings chaired by party President Sonia Gandhi for the October 13 polls. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also briefly attended the meetings.
Indications are that the party is taking time on deliberating on the candidatures of some of the sons of the senior leaders, including Amit Deshmukh, son of Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Rahul Thakre, son of PCC chief Manikrao Thakre.
Others in the list are Praneti Shinde, daughter of union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Sagar Meghe, son of party MP Datta Meghe. Rajendra Shekhawat, son of President Pratibha Patil is also an aspirant.
Party sources said Sonia herself would have to take a call on some of these high profile candidatures.
In the Congress circle, there are talks of the PCC chief withdrawing his son's candidature as he himself wanted to contest the polls. Party sources said it was for the high command to decide whether he can contest.
Congress is expected to come out with its list on Tuesday. Meanwhile, discussions between Congress and NCP continued to resolve the deadlock over a few seats in Mumbai and Pune. As per current indications, Congress is contesting 174 and NCP the remaining 114 seats.