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Lok Sabha polls 2024: Congress announces 16 more candidates; Vikramaditya Singh to take on Kangana Ranaut in Mandi

Manish Tewari will fight from Chandigarh.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 13 April 2024, 15:54 IST
Last Updated : 13 April 2024, 15:54 IST

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New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh Minister Vikramaditya Singh will take on BJP's actor-turned-candidate Kangana Ranaut in Mandi while sitting Punjab MP Manish Tewari has been shifted to Chandigarh, Congress' latest list of candidates for the Lok Sabha election said on Saturday.

The party announced the list of 16 candidates, taking the total candidates named by the Congress to 268. Altogether, Congress is likely to announce a little over 300 candidates, the lowest for the party in the country's Parliamentary history.

Vikramaditya's name was cleared at a meeting of Congress' Central Election Committee (CEC) chaired by party chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday. Sources said a consensus had emerged over Vikramaditya’s name at state level itself for the seat, which is presently represented by his mother and state party chief Pratibha Singh.

At the CEC meeting, sources said the names of Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda from Rohtak and Congress General Secretary and former MP Kumari Selja from Sirsa in Haryana. However, names for Haryana have not been announced in the list released late Saturday night.

Pratibha and Vikramaditya had led a rebellion against Sukhu in the recent past and the former had earlier said that she was not willing to contest again from Mandi. However, she later changed stand as Kangana’s candidature was announced and clamour for her son started gaining ground.

Congress had lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Mandi but in a bypoll later, Pratibha had won the seat for the party. Kangana had alleged that Vikramaditya will join the BJP, an allegation rubbished by Pratibha who said she did not wish to respond to such non-serious claims.

The party also announced the candidature of Vinod Sultanpuri has been finalised for the Shimla seat. Candidates for Hamirpur and Kangra will be finalised later.

Tewari, who represents Anandpur Sahib, has been shifted to Chandigarh with the party deciding to field a strong candidate in its erstwhile strong seat. In last two elections, BJP's Kirron Kher had won but the BJP has denied a ticket this time.

Congress also announced nine more candidates for Odisha, including former minister Srikant Jena, taking the total number of candidates in the state to 17. The party will be announcing candidates for four more seats soon.

It also declared Himmatsinh Patel as its Ahmedabad East candidate in place of Rohan Gupta, who joined the BJP.

On Haryana, sources said to discuss names for remaining six seats, a committee has been formed. Congress has allocated one seat – Kurukshetra – to AAP. The CEC has also discussed candidates for Punjab.

Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Warring said, “we held discussions for 7-8 seats. In a day or two, we will announce our list of candidates. There are sitting MPs and new faces among candidates. We have allotted tickets based on the winnability factor."

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Published 13 April 2024, 15:54 IST

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