Chandigarh, April 21 : Raising the bar for itself for the Lok Sabha elections in Haryana, the Congress on Sunday announced the name of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for the Sonipat seat and Bhavya Bishnoi, a grandson of former Haryana strongman Bhajan Lal, for the Hisar seat.
By fielding Hooda, the Congress is trying to send a message to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Haryana that the election in the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana is not going to be easy.
Hooda is a prominent Jat leader who remained Chief Minister from 2005 to 2014. Sonipat seat has considerable number of Jat community voters.
His son, Deepinder Singh Hooda, is the Congress nominee for the adjoining Rohtak seat, the traditional stronghold of the Hooda family.
The Congress also announced Bhavya Bishnoi, son of former Hisar MP Kuldeep Bishnoi, for the Hisar Lok Sabha seat.
Bhavya will face sitting MP Dushyant Chautala (Jannayak Janata Party) and former IAS officer Bijender Singh (BJP), son of Union Minister Birender Singh.
The Congress had earlier named former Union Minister Selja as its candidate for the Ambala seat and state Congress president Ashok Tanwar for the Sirsa Lok Sabha seat.
The party on Sunday named former minister Nirmal Singh from Kurukshetra. Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal was the MP from Kurukshetra from 2004 to 2014 but he lost the last Lok Sabha election to BJP's Raj Kumar Saini.
The Congress has announced former Haryana Assembly Speaker and Hooda confidant Kuldeep Sharma to contest election from the Karnal seat.
Within days of announcing the name of Lalit Nagar for the Faridabad Lok Sabha seat, the Congress on Sunday changed its candidate. It has now named Avtar Singh Bhadana from that seat.
The party has fielded former MP Shruti Chaudhary, who is the daughter of former cabinet minister Kiran Chaudhary, from Bhiwani-Mahendragarh and former cabinet minister Ajay Singh Yadav from the Gurgaon seat.
The Congress, in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, managed to win only the Rohtak seat. The BJP won seven seats while the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) bagged two seats (Hisar and Sirsa).
Voting for all 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana is scheduled to take place on May 12.