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Maharashtra: Congress fields Shinde, Vilasrao
September 20, 2004 23:22 IST
Last Updated: September 21, 2004 00:58 IST
Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, former PCC president Ranjit Deshmukh and several ministers figure in the list of 147 Congress candidates for the October 13 Maharashtra assembly polls.
A highlight of this election is that Congress will contest 154 seats, the lowest-ever in the state, which was once considered its bastion. The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party would contest 125 seats.
In the seat-sharing arrangement, the Congress has been allotted 163 seats of which nine have been left for its allies - four to Left parties, two to Republican Party of India (Gavai), one to Rashtriya Janata Dal and two to independents. Of the 74 sitting MLAs of the Congress, six have been dropped.
The names for the seven remaining seats would be decided by party chief Sonia Gandhi later. These include Malabar Hill from where the chief minister's son-in-law Raj Shroff is reportedly an aspirant.
Shinde will be seeking re-election from Solapur South from where he had won in a bye-lection two years back. Vilasrao Deshmukh would contest from Latur and Nilangekar from Nilanga. The two seats fall in the Latur Lok Sabha constituency where Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil was humbled.
Ranjit Deshmukh, who was sulking following his removal as Pradesh Congress Committee chief ahead of the elections, has been made a nominee from Nagpur West.
Ranjit Kamble, a close relative of the PCC chief Prabha Rau, has been nominated from Pulgaon in Vardha district, which was once represented by her.
Maloji Shahu Chhatrapati, a descendant of Shahu Maharaj hailing from Shivaji's family, has been nominated from Kolhapur.
Among the ministers and senior leaders re-nominated are:
Patangrao Kadam (Bhilwadi Wangi),
Prakash Awade (Ichalkarnji),
Rohidas Patil (Kusumba),
Kripashankar Singh (Santa Cruz),
Babasaheb Dhabekar (Karanja),
Amrish Patel (Shirpur),
Shivaji Moghe (Kelapur-ST),
Rajendra Darda (Aurangabad West),
Jaywant Awale (Pethvadgaon-SC)
Releasing the list of candidates at the party headquarters in Delhi, AICC general secretary in-charge of party affairs in the state, Margaret Alva, told reporters that the nominees included at least 40-odd below the age of 45 years, 12 women and 25 minorities -- Muslims, Christians, Jains and Sikhs.
A programme for joint campaigning by the leaders of the two parties were being worked out in consultation with the state units of the partners and it would be known once the nomination process is over.
The RPI led by Ramdas Athawale on Monday said it has decided to part ways with Congress-NCP alliance and contest the October 13 Maharashtra assembly polls on its own. In the last assembly polls, only two candidates of the RPI factions had emerged victorious.
The Maharashtra assembly has 288 seats.
More reports from Maharashtra
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