The Congress on Tuesday announced its third list of Lok Sabha candidates with Kapil Sibal, Sandip Dikshit, Ajay Maken, Sachin Pilot and CP Joshi figuring among the prominent names.
Though the Congress earlier on Tuesday vowed to give the BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi a tough fight in Varanasi, no announcement regarding the Lok Sabha ticket from the Uttar Pradesh seat was made.
In its third list of 58 Lok Sabha candidates, the Congress fielded Sibal from Chandi Chowk, former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit's son Sandip Diskhit from East Delhi, Maken from New Delhi and Krishna Tirath from North West Delhi. Joshi will contest from Jaipur (rural), while Pilot will contest from Ajmer.
The party fielded Vishwajeet Kadam from Pune. The seat was represented by Suresh Kalmadi, accused in Commonwealth Games scam. Former cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin was the given the ticket from Rajasthan's Tonk-Sawai Madhopur constituency. Former JDS leader C Narayanaswamy, who recently joined the Congress, will contest from Bangalore North.
With its Tuesday's list, the Congress has now announced 323 candidates.
Earlier on Monday, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party would put up a formidable candidate against Modi. He urged all like minded parties to support it in the “battle against communalism”.
Surjewala claimed that the fact that Modi started searching for a second seat in Gujarat a day after his candidature was declared from Varanasi showed he had become "jittery and has developed cold feet".
The Congress earlier came out with its first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections on March 8, with party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi leading the big names.
Infosys co-founder-turned-Aadhaar-chairman Nandan Nilekani will take on the BJP’s sitting MP Ananth Kumar in Bangalore South, as was widely expected. A surprise pick is cricketer Mohammad Kaif, who will try his luck from Phulpur, a constituency once represented by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar (Sasaram), AB Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla (Bilaspur) and former Odisha chief justice NY Hanumanthappa (Bellary) were the other prominent names.
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Ignoring opposition from a section against fielding tainted candidates, the Congress on March 13 re-nominated former Union ministers Pawan Kumar Bansal and Subodh Kant Sahai in the second list of 71 Lok Sabha candidates.
Unions ministers M Veerappa Moily (Chikkballapur, Karnataka), Shashi Tharoor (Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala), KV Thomas (Ernakulam, Kerala) and V Narayanasamy (Puducherry) apart from film actor Nagma (Meerut, UP) were some other prominent names.
Cong's third list of LS candidates