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May 16, 2024

Congress Unveils Second List for Lok Sabha Polls, Highlighting Lineage and Social Justice

The Congress party has unveiled its second list of 43 Lok Sabha candidates spanning across four states and one Union Territory, showcasing a blend of lineage politics and a commitment to social justice. Notably, the list includes the sons of three former chief ministers, Gaurav Gogoi, Nakul Nath, and Vaibhav Gehlot, reflecting a continuation of political legacies.

In a strategic move, the Congress has emphasized the representation of marginalized communities by allocating 32 seats to candidates from Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). This reaffirms the party’s dedication to upholding principles of social equity.

Gaurav Gogoi, the son of former Assam CM Tarun Kumar Gogoi, will contest from Assam’s Jorhat constituency, shifting from his previous victory in Kaliabor. Nakul Nath, following the footsteps of his father, former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, will contest from Chhindwara. Meanwhile, Vaibhav Gehlot, son of former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, aims to reclaim the Jalore seat, previously won by the Congress in 1999.

The Congress has also made strategic selections, such as fielding Rahul Kaswan in Churu, who transitioned from the BJP to Congress, against BJP’s candidate Devendra Jhajharia, a Paralympic gold medalist.

Diverse in its representation, the list comprises 13 OBCs, 10 SCs, nine STs, and one minority candidate. The distribution of candidates spans across various regions, with a significant focus on Assam, where the Congress has announced candidates for 12 out of 14 seats.

K C Venugopal, Congress General Secretary (organisation), has characterized the 2024 Lok Sabha battle as a clash between the interests of the rich, symbolized by the BJP, and the welfare of the poor, championed by the Congress. He highlighted the efforts of Congress-led governments in Karnataka and Telangana in delivering on promises made to the marginalized sections of society.

Furthermore, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge outlined six key promises aimed at addressing the concerns of Scheduled Tribes. These include the establishment of a national mission for the effective implementation of the Forest Rights Act, withdrawal of amendments to the Forest Conservation and Land Acquisition Acts, notification of habitations dominated by STs as scheduled areas, extension of legal support for minimum support price to minor forest produce, and the reinforcement of the Scheduled Caste Plan and Tribal Sub-plan.

As the electoral landscape unfolds, the Congress’s electoral strategy reflects a balance between political lineage and a steadfast commitment to social inclusivity and justice. The forthcoming Lok Sabha polls will serve as a litmus test for the party’s resurgence and its ability to resonate with the aspirations of diverse demographics across the nation.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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