New Delhi, March 13:
The Congress Thursday declared its second list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, fielding former minister Pawan Kumar Bansal from Chandigarh and actor Nagma from Meerut.
Actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, the sitting MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad, has now been fielded from the state’s Ghaziabad, held by Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh, who is now reportedly keen to shift to Lucknow.
From Lucknow, the party has fielded Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the ex-state unit chief.
The Congress list has 71 names including three replacements from the list announced March 8.
The list declared Thursday includes union ministers M. Veerapa Moily (Chikkballapur-Karnataka), Shashi Tharoor (Thiruvananthapuram-Kerala), K. V. Thomas (Ernakulam-Kerala) and V. Narayanasamy (Puducherry).
Other prominent candidates in the list include Pratibha Singh, wife of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh from Mandi, P.C. Chacko (Chalakudy-Kerala) and Begum Noor Bano (Moradabad-Uttar Pradesh). The last is currently held by cricketer-turned-politician Mohammed Azharuddin.
There was speculation in political circles about Bansal being denied a ticket in the wake of corruption charges having been framed against his nephew Vijay Singla and nine other accused in a railway bribery case.
Bansal had to resign as railway minister in May after Singla was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs.90 lakh for getting a plum Railway Board post to a senior official.
The Congress did not declare candidates for Delhi which will go the polls April 10.
A Congress release said that Nagma has replaced Dayanand Gupta in Meerut as the party’s nominee.
It said that Satyanarayan Sharma has replaced Chayya Verma in Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Daryl William Cheran Momin has replaced D.M. Sangma in Tura in Meghalaya. (IANS)