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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

LS elections: Cong may renominate sitting members

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 23, 2014
First Published: 00:53 IST(23/2/2014) | Last Updated: 13:55 IST(23/2/2014)

Even as the Congress is in the process of finalising its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the party is likely to re-nominate majority of its sitting members.

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There is also a growing demand within the party that all Union ministers — even those who are members of the Rajya Sabha — should be fielded in the coming polls.

Central ministers had repeatedly come under attack in the past from party leaders for being inaccessible to workers and ignoring party offices during their visits to states. "It is easier to meet the Congress president than Union ministers," the then Kerala Congress president and now state home minister Ramesh Chennithala had said in a Congress Working Committee meeting on 4 June 2012.

Congress sources said Firozabad MP Raj Babbar is keen on contesting from Fatehpur Sikri while Moradabad MP Mohammad Azharuddin wants to shift to a ‘safe seat’ in West Bengal.

There is a buzz that kin of Pune MP Suresh Kalmadi might be given ticket from his seat and former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan or his relative could be fielded from Nanded. But senior functionaries ruled out the move, saying it looked "extremely difficult", alluding to allegations of corruption against them.

However, chances of Pawan Bansal being re-nominated from Chandigarh appeared bright after he was appointed as the head of election screening committee for Gujarat and Rajasthan.

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