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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress Releases First Poll List; Rahul Gandhi To Contest From Amethi

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| March 8 , 2019 , 12:17 IST

Congress party members are all set for 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, interestingly the Congress released its first list of candidates for 15 seats, on Friday.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi as the party’s candidate from Rae Bareli and Rahul from the Amethi seat. Sonia Gandhi’s re-nomination from Rae Bareli ends months of speculation that her daughter and party general secretary in-charge of east UP Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, 47, may contest from the Gandhi family bastion this time.

The party had stated that it would contest on all seats in the state, which sends 80 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha. Certainly, The list was finalized at an over hour-long meeting by the party's central election committee chaired by Rahul Gandhi.         

The list comprises of 4 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat and 11 in Uttar Pradesh where a formal alliance with the three-party combine led by Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Ajit Singh did not work out.

SP’s Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati have, however, already announced that their front would not contest elections from Rae Bareli or Amethi to ensure that they did not cut into the anti-BJP votes in seats represented by the Congress president and his mother.

Akhilesh Yadav often counts this arrangement as evidence that the Congress hadn’t been left out in the cold. But a Congress leader indicated that the last word on the arrangement was yet to be said. “Backchannel talks are going on between the parties to arrive at some arrangement,” a leader said.

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In the BSP-SP seat-sharing pact that has been announced, the Mayawati-Akhilesh team has already allocated 38 seats to the BSP, 37 to the SP and 3 to Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal.

In the 9 seats announced by the Congress on Thursday, four have been assigned to Samajwadi Party candidates and the other five, to the Bahujan Samaj Party.

The Congress won just 2 seats of UP’s 80 in the 2014 elections when a wave in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi decimated the BJP’s rivals but it isn’t that the Congress won every one of the 11 seats in 2009 too. The Saharanpur seat, for example, had gone to the BSP in 2009 and Jalaun, to the SP.

The Election Commission is likely to announce the schedule for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls this weekend or early next week. Sources said the polls are likely to be spread over 7-8 phases in April- May.