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Congress Nominates Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Niece Karuna Shukla to Take on Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh


Raipur: The Congress has fielded former BJP MP and niece of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Karuna Shukla, against Chattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh from the Rajnandgaon seat.

Shukla was among the six candidates named in the second list of Congress candidates for the assembly elections that will take place next month. Congress sources said that the screening committee of the party had recommended her name to take on the Chief Minister.

The former PM’s niece has been vocal on several issues related to the state and had also accused the BJP of politicising Vajpayee’s death by carrying his ashes across India for electoral gains in 2019.

“The way BJP is carrying the ashes of Atal Bihari Vajpayee around the country, it is a show off and for votes. Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh and his cabinet never remembered him until now, especially when he had created the state,” she had told News18.
Shukla, who previously represented Janjgir as Member of Parliament and remained an MLA in undivided Madhya Pradesh, had left the BJP in 2013 after accusing the party of torturing her ‘mentally’. This had ended her three-decade association with the party.

She had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Bilaspur on a Congress ticket, but had lost to BJP’s Lakhan Lal Sahu of BJP from Bilaspur.

For Shukla, it would be the toughest test in her political career as CM Raman Singh is seeking a fourth consecutive term as CM after ousting Congress’ Ajit Jogi from power in 2003.

Born on August 1, 1950, the former BJP MP entered into politics after completing her education from Bhopal university. She became an MLA in 1993 and then an MP in 2004 from Janjgir seat. However, she lost the electoral battle to a Congress candidate in 2009 general elections when she fought from Korba.

The candidate list, cleared by the Congress CEC and released by AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik, also includes the names of Girwar Janghel from Khairagarh, Bhuneshwar Singh Baghel from Dongargarh-SC, Daleshwar Sahu from Dongargaon, Channi Sahu from Khujji and Indira Shah Mandavi from Mohla Manpur-ST.

The Congress has already announced candidates for 12 seats in Bastar. October 23 is the last day of filing nominations for first phase.

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