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Congress’ First Lok Sabha Polls List Prioritizes Minorities, Youth: Key Highlights

On Friday, the Congress unveiled its initial list of 39 candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha election, drawn from eight states and one union territory. The names of candidates for Lok Sabha seats have been revealed in Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Telangana, and Tripura.

Here are the key takeaways from Congress’ first Lok Sabha polls list:

  1. Congress’ first list includes a large number of leaders from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, other backward classes, and minorities. This comes in sync with the Congress’s ongoing campaign and Rahul Gandhi’s frequent pitch for increased participation of these communities in the decision-making process.
  2. According to the list, senior party leader Rahul Gandhi has been nominated from Wayanad in Kerala, former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel from Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh, sitting MP Shashi Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram, and party general secretary KC Venugopal from Alappuzha in Kerala.
  3. Out of the total 39 candidates, 12 leaders are below the age of 50, in a push to give more space to younger leaders in the party. According to KC Venugopal, eight contestants were between 50 and 60, 12 between 61 and 70, and seven between 71 and 76 years of age.
  4. The grand old party has named several state unit chiefs in its first list including – Kerala unit chief K Sudhkaran from Kannur, Meghalaya unit chief and former union minister Vincent Pala from Shillong, Sikkim unit head Gopal Chettri from the lone seat in the state, Tripura chief Asim Kumar Saha from Tripura West, Md Hamdullaha Sayeed from Lakshadweep, and Nagaland state chief S Supongmeren Jamir from the lone seat in the state.
  5. The party has repeated 18 sitting MPs including Rahul Gandhi.
  6. Former Chhattisgarh CM Baghel and former state home minister Tamradhwaj Sahu have been nominated in the first list, reportedly with an intention to field its senior leaders in the Hindi heartland states.
  7. In Karnataka, the party has fielded the brother of CM DK Shivakumar – DK Suresh, who will contest from Bengaluru Rural for the third time. In 2019, DK Suresh was the only Congress leader to win the Parliamentary election.
  8. In the first list, the Congress has mainly focused on states where it will go alone.
  9. Out of the 39 seats, Congress has fielded 28 candidates from the South Indian states. These include – 16 from Kerala, seven from Karnataka, four from Telangana, and one from Lakshadweep. Notably, the grand old party is currently in power in two South Indian states – Karnataka and Telangana.
  10. Meanwhile, only three women candidates are a part of the Congress’ list – Jyotsana Mahant from Chhattisgarh, Geetha Shivarajkumar from Karnataka, and Ramya Haridas from Kerala.

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