UP Elections: Congress Releases First List Of Candidates After Alliance With Samajwadi Party

NEW DELHI: Hours after the Congress and Samajwadi Party finalised their pre-poll alliance on Sunday, the Congress announced its first list of 43 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. The list includes former Union minister Jitin Prasad and controversial leader Imran Masood. The party may come out with a second list soon.

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Out of 41 candidates on the Congress list, eight are Muslims, which translates roughly to 20 per cent. This is in direct contrast to the two BJP lists, which do not any Muslim candidate so far.

Imran Masood, who was in the eye of a storm during 2014 Lok Sabha elections when a video clip emerged that allegedly showed him saying he would cut Narendra Modi into pieces if he ever came to his constituency. Masood was jailed for his alleged hate speech.

After an initial list of 41 candidates, the party’s general secretary Madhusudan Mistry later released a list of two additional nominees cleared by the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC), which includes Masud Akhtar from Saharanpur Nagar and Sherbaz Khan from Chandpur Assembly constituency.
Samajwadi Party and Congress sealed a pre-poll pact to contest the UP Assembly elections on Sunday, ending days of suspense and feverish parleys.

The alliance, which at one stage looked doomed with both sides driving a hard bargain, was announced by the chiefs of the state units of the two parties who declared while SP will have the lion’s share of 298 of 403 seats, Congress will contest the remaining 105.

Uttar Pradesh goes to polls on February 11. Voting will be carried out in seven phases and will last till March 8.