Cong fields Urmila Matondkar from Mumbai North, Meira Kumar from Sasaram

Cong fields Urmila Matondkar from Mumbai North, Meira Kumar from Sasaram
Cong fields Urmila Matondkar from Mumbai North, Meira Kumar from Sasaram

The Congress on Friday nominated actress Urmila Matondkar and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar from Mumbai North and Bihar’s Sasaram parliamentary constituencies respectively.

The party has so far announced names of its candidates in 313 seats.

The party nominated TV journalist Supriya Shrinate from Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh, replacing Tanushree Tripathi, the daughter of jailed politician Amarmani Tripathi, after it faced widespread criticism.

The party also renominated its sitting MP Ranjeet Ranjan from Supaul in Bihar and nominated outgoing BJP MP from Etawah Ashok Kumar Dohrey, hours after he joined the party in the presence of party president Rahul Gandhi.

In Himachal Pradesh, the party fielded former union minister Sukh Ram’s grandson Ashrey Sharma from Mandi and Col Dhani Ram Shandil from Shimla.

Tushar Chaudhary was fielded from Bardoli in Gujarat, while former MLA Abu Teher Bepari was nominated as party candidate from Dhubri, Sabda Ram Rabha from Kokrajhar, Abdul Khaleque from Barpeta and Bobbeeta Sharma from Gauhati — all in Assam.

Dohrey, a former BJP leader who was with the BSP earlier and was also a minister in the Mayawati government from 2007 to 2012, joined the Congress days after he was denied a BJP ticket from the Etawah Lok Sabha constituency, from where the ruling party has declared former Union minister Ram Shankar Katheria.

The 48-year-old Dalit leader met Rahul Gandhi at the latter’s residence here and was welcomed into the party.

The party released separate lists of candidates during the day that included nominees from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Maharashtra.

“The Congress central election committee has approved the candidature of Urmila Matondkar as party candidate to contest the ensuing general elections from Mumbai North parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra,” a party statement said.

Matondkar had joined the Congress after meeting Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday.

Meira Kumar have been contesting from her Sasaram parliamentary constituency for many years but had lost in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress also released a list of 20 candidates for Odisha Assembly election.

Election to the 543-member Lok Sabha will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23. PTI