Jaipur: In its all-out efforts for defeating the Modi-Raje led BJP in December 7 Assembly polls in Rajasthan, the Congress has fielded most of its prominent leaders, including former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and state president Sachin Pilot, in the ensuing battle of ballots.
In the first list of 152 candidates released by the party in New Delhi, past mid night last night, AICC General Secretary Mr Gehlot's name figured for his traditional bastion, Sardarpura in Jodhpur while former Union Minister Mr Pilot has been fielded from Tonk for his maiden run for the state assembly.
Besides, three more former Union ministers, two sitting Lok Sabha MPs and five former MPs and the functionaries will enter the fray for the assigned seats.
While ex-Union Minister Dr CP Joshi will contest on Nathdwara seat, former Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Girija Vyas is given ticket from Udaipur and member of the Council of Ministers in the previous Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA regime, Lal Chand Kataria is fielded from Jhotwara in the state capital here.
Dr Raghu Sharma, who won the Lok Sabha bypoll in Ajmer a few months back, will contest from Kekri and sitting MP from Dausa(ST) Harish Meena, who joined the party after quitting BJP on Wednesday, is given ticket from Deoli-Uniara in Tonk district.
Former MPs and key functionaries of the party Narendra Budania(Taranagar), Harish Chaudhary (Baytoo), Khiladi Bairwa(Basedi-SC), Raghuvir Meena(Salumber-ST) and Mahendrajit Singh Malviya (Bagidora-ST) have also been given task of taking on the rival BJP nominees.
Leader of the opposition in the state assembly Rameshwar Dudi is re-nominated to defend the Nokha seat in Bikaner district while former assembly speaker Deependra Singh Shekhawat will contest for winning back his Srimadhopur seat in Sikar district.In its run for staging a comeback to power, the opposition party also entrusted candidates of the GenNext from families of about 15 of its old guards.
To project its secular face, the party has fielded nine Muslims and in a bid to give the maximum possible opportunities to Dalits, allotted tickets to aspirants from SCs/STs classes on five general seats.Nineteen women will also enter the fray on the party's ticket.(UNI)