Mumbai: The Congress in Maharashtra Tuesday began discussions on a list of probable candidates for 26 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, which includes Manikrao Thakre, Milind Deora and Rohidas Patil. A two-day meeting of the party’s state election committee started here Tuesday. The list will be sent to the party’s central scrutiny committee which will forward it to the All India Congress Committee for finalisation, a party source said here. The state unit will suggest three names for every seat, he said.
Names of former legislative council deputy chairman Manikrao Thakre (for Yavatmal-Washim constituency) and senior leader Rohidas Patil (for Dhule) figure in the list, sources claimed. The list names Milind Deora for Mumbai South constituency, sources said. For Mumbai North-Central, there are three names in the list: Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan, Kripashankar Singh and Priya Dutt.
Dutt, a former MP, has announced she will not contest this time, though Congress leaders are trying to persuade her to change her decision. For Mumbai South Central, probable candidates in the list are former bureaucrat Uttam Khobragade, former MP Eknath Gaikwad and former vice chancellor of Mumbai University Bhalchandra Mungekar.
Sources said while city Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam wants to stand from Mumbai North West, some leaders opposed the proposal in Tuesday’s meeting, saying he should contest from Mumbai North. Nirupam had represented Mumbai North earlier but lost from there in 2014. The party is already in talks with alliance with the NCP.