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Congress to field Satish Sharma, Jairam Ramesh

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JUNE 15. The Congress today decided to field the former Union Ministers, Satish Sharma, Mohsina Kidwai, R.K. Dhawan, industrialist Girish Sanghi and the AICC secretary, Jairam Ramesh, as the party candidates for the by-elections to the Rajya Sabha.

Surprises in the list include the former Bahujan Samaj Party leader in the Lok Sabha, Raashid Alvi, who would contest from Andhra Pradesh as would Mr. Ramesh, the wordsmith of the Common Minimum Programme of the United Progressive Alliance.

Former civil servant-turned politician J.D. Seelam, a Dalit Christian from the coastal region, had unsuccessfully contested the 1999 Lok Sabha polls and was recently appointed the AICC secretary. Another AICC secretary who got the nod was the backward caste leader, V. Hanumantha Rao.

There are six biennial vacancies from Andhra Pradesh against which the Congress and its allies can get five while one will go to the Opposition Telugu Desam Party. The alliance has allocated one seat to the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Mr. Alvi is being fielded for a by-election necessitated following the death of K.M. Khan.

Capt. Satish Sharma, who lost in the recent Lok Sabha elections, has been nominated to contest against the lone vacancy in Uttaranchal. Capt. Sharma has shifted from his Rae Bareli constituency to the neighbouring Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh in the April-May general elections.

The AICC general secretary, R.K. Dhawan, will contest from Bihar while another general secretary, Mohsina Kidwai, has been fielded from Chhattisgarh and the former Delhi Assembly Deputy Speaker, Kiran Choudhary, from Haryana.

The party also cleared the candidature of the former civil servant, R.K. Nayak, from Orissa.

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