Congress president Sonia Gandhi has finalised names of 55 candidates for Maharashtra Assembly Elections slated later this year. The decision was taken in the meeting of the party's Central Election Committee (CEC) which was organised to discuss election preparations in the state. The meeting – which was chaired by Gandhi, who was appointed party chief recently – was attended by senior party leaders and state leaders.
According to sources, all the sitting MLAs will be given tickets and Gandhi has emphasised that party will try to field maximum numbers of bigwigs in the Assembly polls.
Former Maharashtra chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat, Muttemwar, Nitin Raut, Nana Falgunrao Patole are some of the names that have been finalised, sources added.
Mallikarjun Kharge, party’s general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra, told News Nation that another meeting of screening committee and election committee have been again called on September 17 and September 18 respectively to finalise the names of remaining candidates.
On the issue of an alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party, Kharge said that Congress and NCP are working on 125-25 seat-sharing deal in the 288-member Assembly, while the remaining seats will be given to their allies.
In the 2014 elections, the Congress and the NCP bagged 42 and 41 seats, respectively. The BJP came to power by winning 122 seats in the 288 member Assembly, while the party's ally Shiv Sena won 62 seats.
The Congress and the NCP are now looking for a comeback in the state but both the parties have faced deserting from several senior party leaders. Recently, actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar, who contested unsuccessfully from North Mumbai, quit the party. After Matondkar, former Minister and senior Congress leader Kripa Shankar Singh also quit the party.