Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor Among 39 Candidates In Congress’ 1st Lok Sabha List

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

Congress 1st Candidates List: The roster also includes the names of former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal.

Congress Lok Sabha Election First Candidates List: 16 candidates have been announced for Kerala.

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Within a week of the BJP unveiling its first list of 195 candidates, the Congress has responded with 39 names, featuring Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, and Bhupesh Baghel.

Rahul Gandhi will run from Wayanad in Kerala, though it remains uncertain if he will also contest from Amethi, as he did in 2019. Shashi Tharoor will vie for Thiruvananthapuram, a seat he has held for three terms, while Mr. Baghel will contest from Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh.

Other prominent figures on the list include Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, who will contest from Alapuzzha in Kerala – a seat he previously won in 2009 – and DK Suresh, brother of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who is fielded from Bengaluru Rural.

The names have primarily been disclosed for southern and northeastern states, with Chhattisgarh and the Union Territory of Lakshadweep being the only outliers. The majority, 16 candidates, are from Kerala, where the Congress is expected to leave the remaining four seats for its allies.

Seven names have been revealed from Karnataka, six from Chhattisgarh, and four from Telangana. The remainder hails from Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, and Lakshadweep.

The strategic focus on the south is intentional, given that the Congress not only governs Karnataka and Telangana but also because it is a region where the BJP’s influence is relatively weaker.

During Friday’s announcement, Mr. Venugopal underscored that the candidates were chosen by the Congress Central Election Committee. He highlighted that 24 of the 39 candidates hail from the OBC, SC, ST, and minority communities.

Sources suggest that this list is just a beginning, and more names can be expected as the INDIA alliance finalizes seat-sharing in some of the remaining states, including Maharashtra. The decision on alliances for the state, which sends the second-highest number of MPs to the Lok Sabha, has been challenging for both the NDA and INDIA alliances.

Another factor contributing to the delay could be Rahul Gandhi’s commitment to the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, currently in Gujarat and concluding in Mumbai on March 17. Mr. Venugopal mentioned a massive rally planned for that day, with invitations extended to leaders of all INDIA party members.

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