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Congress holds CEC meeting to finalise candidates for Bihar, Odisha

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) Top Congress leaders met here on Sunday to discuss the party's Lok Sabha poll candidates for Bihar and Odisha, with sources saying Mohammad Jawed and Tariq Anwar are likely to be fielded from Kishanganj and Katihar respectively.

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Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former party chief Sonia Gandhi, party general secretary K C Venugopal and the members of its Central Election Committee (CEC), including senior leaders Ambika Soni, Madhusudan Mistry and Salman Khurshid, were present at the meeting.

For discussions on Bihar seats, state unit chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh and AICC in-charge of state Mohan Prakash were present at the meeting.

Sources said three seats in Bihar were discussed and Mohammad Jawed and Tariq Anwar are likely to be fielded from Kishanganj and Katihar respectively. Jawed is the sitting MP from Kishanganj.

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As part of the seat-sharing agreement among INDIA allies in Bihar, the RJD will be contesting 26 seats, nine more than it had fought in 2019, when it drew a blank. The Congress has got nine seats, as many as it had contested in the last elections, followed by the CPI(ML) Liberation three, and CPI and CPI(M) one each.

Among the seats given to the Congress are Kishanganj, Bihar's lone Muslim-majority constituency that the party has been winning for some time, and adjoining Katihar where senior leader Anwar lost in 2019, having won in 2014 on an NCP ticket.

The CEC also deliberated upon the candidates for Odisha and finalised the names of some seats.

AICC Odisha in-charge Ajoy Kumar and Odisha Congress chief Sarat Pattanayak were present during the meeting.

The Congress has held several rounds of CEC meetings. Till now, the party has named a total of 211 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. PTI ASK SMN

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