With less than a week left for filing nominations for the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly polls, the Congress on Sunday released a list of 51 candidates, including former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
Congress General Secretary Mukul Wasnik released the list of the 51 candidates after the names were finalised by the party's Central Election Committee.
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which are contesting in alliance with other smaller parties, have agreed to contest 125 seats each and leave the remaining 38 seats in the 288-member Assembly to the other allies.
Among the Congress candidates are Chavan from Bhokar, state unit President Vijay aka Balasaheb Thorat from Sangamner seat, Working President Nitin Raut from Nagpur North, and party MLA Amit Vilasrao Deshmukh, son of late former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, from the Latur city seat.
The party has also fielded sitting Dharavi MLA Varsha Gaikwad, the daughter of senior Congress leader Eknath Gaikwad.
The last date of nominations for the October 21 elections is October 4. Counting of votes will take place on October 24.
The Congress, which had ruled the state for three consecutive terms with the NCP from 1999 to 2014, had contested the 2014 assembly polls all alone. It won 42, while the NCP won 41 seats. The BJP, on the other hand, won 122 seats and its ally Shiv Sena 63 seats, while the remaining were won by others.
Ahead of the assembly polls, the Congress has suffered major setbacks as several senior leaders have left the party, including Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, who was Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, former Ministers Abdul Sattar and Kripa Shankar Singh, who was once known as the party's north Indian face in Mumbai.
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