It may still be some time before Congress officially declare its candidates for Lok Sabha election,but the party high-command has informally given go ahead to about 30 leaders in Uttar Pradesh to start preparations.
This includes 13 candidates who had got more than 1 lakh votes in 2009 Lok Sabha elections but lost and majority of the sitting MPs,including Sultanpur MP Sanjay Singh,who recently hit the headlines over speculations about him joining the BJP. As per senior party leaders,only one or two MPs may not be repeated.
Of the 16 who secured more than one lakh votes during 2009 Lok Sabha elections. three have already left the party. They include Umaid Singh,husband of slain bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi,who joined BSP and will be contesting from Shahjahanpur. The other two are V M Singh,who defected to Trinamool Congress ahead of 2012 Assembly elections to contest from Pilibhit and Sidh Gopal Sahu,who shifted to Samajwadi Party and contested from Hamirpur.
Meanwhile,in what is being regarded as a clear signal to Begum Noor Bano (2 lakh votes) of Rampur,Brijendra Singh (1.65 lakh votes) of Aligarh and Bhola Pandey (1.65 lakh votes) of Salempur (Deoria),Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has already addressed a rally for the trio last month.
Others in the list include Sompal,who had given tough fight to RLD chief Ajit Singh and garnered about 1.36 lakh votes and SP Goyal,who had got about 2.86 lakh votes against BJP president Rajnath Singh in Ghaziabad. In Ghosi,Sudha Rai,wife of Kalpanath Rai had also got more than 1.5 lakh votes.
Speaking to Indian Express,a sitting party MP said,Though,there is no official communique,but we have been informally asked to start preparations in our constituencies. There is a word around that only one or two MPs might not be repeated. The final decision is yet to be taken.
Sources informed that some MPs such as Kamal Kishore Commando (Bahraich) and Raj Babbar (Firozabad) have requested for change of seat. Commando wants to contest from Bansgaon (Gorakhpur).