Gandhi family loyalist to contest from Gauriganj | india | Hindustan Times
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Gandhi family loyalist to contest from Gauriganj

india Updated: Jan 13, 2012 23:22 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times
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Manoj Mattoo, a retired wing commander of the India Air Force (IAF) and a close confidante of the Nehru-Gandhi family, is likely to be the Congress candidate from Gauriganj, an assembly segment of Amethi parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

Congress sources said his name has been cleared for the seat and the announcement is expected anytime.

The nomination of Mattoo, a Kashmiri Pandit, is significant given that he looks after the development works in Amethi and Rae Bareli constituencies.

Party leaders, familiar with Mattoo's functioning, said he knows how many canals have been cleaned and how many electric poles have been erected in the two constituencies.

Out of the total 403 seats in the UP assembly, the Congress has so far announced 325 candidates while its alliance partner — RLD— will contest from 45 constituencies. The party is expected to release the final list of 33 candidates in a day or so.

In another first, the Congress has launched a UP poll-specific website — — not only to woo but also connect with the voters, particularly the young and first-timers.

A brain child of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, the website in Hindi is also linked to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to enable the internet users to post their views on various party programmes.

The site also has an open forum for debate on land acquisition and rehabilitation policies in the context of Bhatta Parsaul incident. The central theme of the website is also Gandhi’s election war cry — uthao... jaago...badlo Uttar Pradesh (rise...awake...change UP).