8 Mar 2024

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor in Congress First List of 39 Candidates

New Delhi: Responding to the BJP's recent release of 195 candidates, the Congress has revealed its initial list of 39 contenders, including prominent figures such as Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, and Bhupesh Baghel.

Rahul Gandhi is set to contest from Wayanad in Kerala, with uncertainty surrounding his candidacy from Amethi, as was the case in 2019. Shashi Tharoor will vie for the Thiruvananthapuram seat, a position he has held for three consecutive terms, while Bhupesh Baghel will make his electoral debut in the Lok Sabha from Rajnandgaonin Chhattisgarh.

Several prominent figures featured on the list include Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal, set to contest from Alapuzzha in Kerala—a seat he secured in 2009. Additionally, DK Suresh, the brother of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, has been nominated for the Bengaluru Rural constituency.

These nominations primarily pertain to states in the southern and northeastern regions, with Chhattisgarh and the Union Territory of Lakshadweep being the sole exceptions. Out of the total candidates announced, the majority hail from Kerala, leaving four seats for the Congress allies in the state.

The list comprises seven candidates from Karnataka, six from Chhattisgarh, and four from Telangana. The remaining candidates represent Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, and Lakshadweep.

This strategic focus on the southern states is intentional, as the Congress not only governs Karnataka and Telangana but also recognizes the relative weakness of the BJP in this region compared to other parts of the country.

In the first list of Congress, 15 candidates are from general category, 24 candidates are from SC-ST, OBC and minority categories. 12 candidates are below 50 years of age.

On March 2, BJP had released the list of 195 candidates in 16 states and 2 union territories. The first list of Congress has come 5 days after the list of BJP.

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