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LS polls: Congress fields Kanhaiya Kumar against BJP's Manoj Tiwari in Delhi, ex-Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi from Jalandhar

With the latest list, Congress has capped the speculation over its three candidates from Delhi with JP Agarwal being fielded again from Chandni Chowk against BJP’s trader leader Praveen Khandelwal and Udit Raj from the reserved North West Delhi seat against BJP’s Yogendra Chandolia.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 16:40 IST
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 16:40 IST

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New Delhi: Youth leader Kanhaiya Kumar will take on BJP’s sitting MP and Bhojpuri actor-singer Manoj Tiwari in North East Delhi while former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi will fight from Jalandhar, the Congress announced on Sunday.

Congress also named its 15th candidate from Uttar Pradesh – former Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh’s son Ujjwal – leaving just the candidates for Amethi and Rae Bareli a mystery.

Congress is contesting for 17 seats in UP in alliance with SP. All eyes are on Rahul Gandhi as rumors suggest he will contest again from Amethi, from where he lost last time. Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra might be fielded from Rae Bareli, a seat which Sonia Gandhi is not contesting this time.

With the latest list, Congress has capped the speculation over its three candidates from Delhi with JP Agarwal being fielded again from Chandni Chowk against BJP’s trader leader Praveen Khandelwal and Udit Raj from the reserved North West Delhi seat against BJP’s Yogendra Chandolia.

Across India, Congress has so far announced 278 candidates.

The candidature of Kumar, who unsuccessfully contested from Bihar’s Begusarai on a CPI ticket in 2019, was not on the discussion table initially as the Delhi unit and Screening Committee had suggested Arvinder Singh Lovely, JP Agarwal, Sandeep Dikshit and Udit Raj among others.

Though Lovely had initially indicated that he is not inclined to contest as he is Delhi Congress chief, the names of Agarwal and Dikshit were considered for both Chandni Chowk and North East Delhi. With Kumar’s entry, Dikshit has lost out in the race to get a ticket.

Congress sources said central leadership was keen that Kumar enter the fray in Delhi, especially against the backdrop of difficulties in fielding him in his home state of Bihar.

They felt that a fiery speaker Kumar can swing votes in North East Delhi where there are a number of ‘Purvanchali’ voters and dent the prospects of the BJP candidate who also eyes the same votes.

Former BJP MP Raj, who joined Congress in 2019 after he was denied ticket, had previously trumped Congress leaders like Rajkumar Chouhan.

AAP will be contesting the remaining four seats – New Delhi, South Delhi, East Delhi and West Delhi.

Congress also announced six out of 13 candidates for Punjab where it is fighting against AAP. Channi will be fighting to regain Jalandhar, which Congress lost to AAP in bypolls while sitting MPs Gurdeep Singh Aujla (Amritsar) and Amar Singh (Fatehgarh Sahib) also find space in the list.

In place of Preneet Kaur who shifted to BJP, Congress has fielded former AAP MP Dr Dharamvir Gandhi from Patiala and Sukhpal Khaira from Sangrur. Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu will fight from Bhatinda, which is presently represented by Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur.

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Published 14 April 2024, 16:40 IST

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