Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Congress in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday is likely to release its first list of nearly 130 candidates, including state chief Kamal Nath, for the November 17 assembly elections, a party leader said on Friday.
Sunday marks the beginning of the auspicious Navratri festival.
The leader, who is close to Nath, said that the Congress has plans to declare the names of candidates for all 230 seats in two lists based on five surveys. Of these surveys, one was done by poll strategist Sunil Kanugolu on behalf of Rahul Gandhi, while Nath took care of another, he said.
For its first list, the Congress has cleared the names of 15 ex-legislators and nearly 90 sitting MLAs, said party insiders. Nath will contest from his pocket borough Chhindwara, they said.
List after 'Pitru Paksha'
Earlier, Nath had said that the Congress would announce its candidates for the assembly polls after 'Pitru Paksha', Pitru Paksha, the period during which Hindus pay homage to their ancestors, started on September 29 and will end on October 14 this year.
"Names of 103 candidates were decided and approved two days ago but due to the ongoing 'Shraadh' period, we did not announce their names," said the close aide of Nath.
"Meeting of our central election committee attended by our president Mallikarjun Kharge and his predecessor Rahul Gandhi is on in New Delhi. It is primarily focussing on picking candidates for the second list," another Congress leader said around noon.
BJP has announced 136 candidates so far
The Congress screening committee for MP polls is going to meet shortly for the second list, the leaders said.
The Congress's arch-rival BJP has already announced candidates for 136 assembly seats through four lists.
The saffron party brought out its first list of 39 candidates on August 17, more than one and a half months before the election date was announced.