Lok Sabha elections 2014: Congress denies ticket to 'tainted' Suresh Kalmadi
The Congress' Lok Sabha candidate from Pune will be Vishwajeet Kadam in place of sitting MP Suresh Kalmadi
New Delhi: Scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi was on Tuesday denied a ticket by Congress which fielded young leader Vishwajeet Kadam in his place as it released the third list of 58 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls naming several Union ministers and senior leaders.
There was intense speculation if Kalmadi, who had won Lok Sabha elections thrice, would be given Congress ticket from Pune.
Kalmadi, a former chief of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, is an accused in a corruption case related to the 2010 sporting event.
He was arrested for his alleged role in awarding a contract for installing the Timing-Scoring-Result system to Swiss Times Omega at an exorbitant cost of Rs.141 crore, allegedly causing a loss of over Rs.95 crore to the public exchequer. He was later released on bail.
Kalmadi was also suspended from Congress some time back in connection with the Commonwealth Games scam.
The candidates list for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections include former Team India captain Mohd Azharuddin, a sitting member from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, who has been shifted to Tonk-Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan which has a substantial minority population.
Congress wil field former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi from Mahasamund while Paranjayaditya Sinh Parmar, son-in-law of Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, has been made a nominee from Panchmahal's seat in Gujarat.
The party kept up the suspense as to whom it would field against Narendra Modi in Varanasi with Congress General Secretary Madhusudan Mistri indicating a surprise announcement while party spokesman Randeep Surjewala saying a "formidable" nominee will be fielded against BJP's PM candidate.
PCC chiefs renominated include Pratap Singh Bajwa from Gurdaspur in Punjab, Sachin Pilot from Ajmer and Ashok Tanwar from Sirsa in Haryana.
Another General Secretary C P Joshi has been shifted from Bhilwara to Jaipur rural.
Two Maharashtra ministers Sanjay Deotale and Rajendra Gavit have been fielded from Chandrapur in Vidarbha region and Palghar in Konkan region.
Five sitting members of Delhi were renominated -- Union ministers Kapil Sibal (Chandni Chowk) and Krishna Tirath (North West Delhi), Sandeep Dikshit (East Delhi), Jai Prakash Agarwal (North East Delhi) and Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken from New Delhi.
With this list, the total candidates declared by Congress come to 318. One candidate has been replaced with Pankan Aggarwal brought in from Muzaffarnagar in place of Suraj S Verma.
Former Bihar DGP Aashish Ranjan Sinha is being fielded from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's stronghold of Nalanda. Sinha belongs to the Kurmi community having dominant presence in the constituency. Kadam is the president of the Youth Congress in Maharashtra and is son of senior minister Patangrao Kadam who hails from Sangli district.
With sitting member Rao Inderjit Singh leaving the party to contest as BJP candidate from Gurgaon and AAP fielding its ideologue Yogendra Yadav, Congress has brought in a Yadav candidate Rao Dharampal.
Ajay Singh, son of veteran Arjun Singh, was made the Congress nominee from Satna, a seat once represented by his late father. Union Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch has been renominated from Jodhpur and Ninong Ering from Arunachal West and Dinsha Patel from Kheda in Gujarat and Srikant jena fron Balasore.