The Congress has finalised candidates for around 34 of the 41 assembly seats it is contesting in Bihar, after a meeting of the central election committee, chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi, in New Delhi on Monday.
The party is likely to release its first list of candidates for at least nine seats on Tuesday morning. However, party sources said the Congress late on Monday night allotted symbol to Sadanand Singh, Ajit Sharma, Amita Bhushan, Ashok Ram and Bahvna Jha at Sadaquat Ashram, the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee’s headquarters in Patna.
The party’s screening committee, chaired by senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge, in New Delhi first examined the list of candidates for all the 41 seats that were sent to it by the pradesh election committee (PEC).
Bihar CLP leader Sadanand Singh, however, did not attend any of the two meetings. BPCC chief Ashok Chaudhary, AICC general secretary in-charge for Bihar CP Joshi and other leaders were present.
The PEC had sent a list of three to five candidates for each of the 41 seats.
Sources said the screening committee finalised the names of one candidate for 15 seats while it proposed more than one names on the rest, leaving the final decision to the central election committee chaired by Sonia Gandhi.
The sources said the party had finalised the names of Ashok Ram (Rosera), state Mahila Congress chief Amita Bhushan (Begusarai), sitting MLAs Ajit Sharma (Bhagalpur) and Sadanand Singh (Kahalgaon), Bunty Choudhary (Sikandara), Sudarshan Kumar (Barbigha) and Purnima Yadav (Govindpur) for the first phase polls, which will take place on October 12.
Sudarshan Kumar is the grandson of former minister late Rajo Singh.
For the second phase, the party had selected Murari Gautam from Chenari, Rajesh Ram from Kutumba, Pappu Singh from Aurangabad, Dimple Kumar from Gaya Town and Awadhesh Singh from Wazirganj, the sources said, adding that there was no information on the candidate for Mohania seat.
These apart, the Congress had decided to field Jagannath Rai from Hajipur, state Youth Congress president Kumar Ashish from Bankipur, Bhavna Jha from Benipatti, Mohammad Shabbir from Harlakhi and Brajesh Pandey from Govindganj, the sources added.
(With PTI inputs)