Cong sticks to 'old is gold' in Chhattisgarh

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Raipur, Oct 23 (UNI) Chhattisgarh's main opposition Congress seems to have largely stuck to the saying ''old is gold'' by fielding ten sitting legislators and 12 ex-MLAs in its first list of 35 candidates announced today.

However, MLA Chetan Verma was denied a ticket due to illness. The 12 former MLAs who got lucky today lost in the 2003 polls. The Congress gave a chance to 14 new faces. Treasurer Motilal Vora's son Arun and former Union minister Arvind Netam's daughter Preeti -- a 'fresher' -- also got tickets.

Ex-minister Manoj Mandavi who lost by 1,300 votes last time at Bhanupratappur has been left out from there while Mr Manturam Pawar -- who was trounced by 9,000 votes at Narayanpur -- has been given the Antagarh ticket. Ms Pratima Chandrakar, who bit the dust by about 12,000 votes in Durg district's Khertha seat in 2003, has been fielded from Durg (Rural).

Mr Brijmohan Singh, who was the factor behind the defeat of a Congress nominee by contesting as an independent for the Bhilai mayor's post, has got the party's Vaishali Nagar ticket.

The MLAs fielded again are Ravindra Choubey (Saja), Haridas Bhardwaj (Saraipali), Bhupesh Baghel (Patan), Tamradhwaj Sahu (Bemetara), Mohammad Akbar (Pandriya), Yogeshwarraj Singh (Kawardha), Uday Mudaliar (Rajnandgaon), Mahendra Karma (Dantewada), Rajendra Pambhoi (Bijapur) and Kawasi Lakma (Konta). The former constituencies of Mr Bhardwaj and Mr Sahu were swallowed by delimitation.

The new faces included Ambika Markam (Sinhawa), Mohan Patel (Sanjari Balod), Lekhram Sahu (Kurud), Anita Kumethi (Dondilohara), Shobha Ram Banjare (Ahirwara), Motilal Janghel (Khairagarh), Bholaram Sahu (Khujji), Shiv Usare (Manpur Mohla), P Netam (Kanker), Mohan Lal Markam (Kondagaon), Rajnu Netam (Narayanpur) and Lakheshwar Baghel (Bastar).

UNI AS-AC 2123

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