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Rajasthan Assembly Elections 2018: Congress first list likely today

Rajasthan Assembly Elections 2018: Rajasthan Congress leaders who attended the meeting said this list will now be looked at by the party’s central election committee (CEC), led by party president Rahul Gandhi, at a meeting on Monday. The party may release its first list of candidates either in the evening after the meeting or on Tuesday.

Updated: Nov 12, 2018 10:59:49

By HT Correspondent

Ticket aspirants for Rajasthan assembly election line up outside Congress' Delhi office as the party senior leadership decides on candidates, November 9, 2018. (HT Photo )

The Congress’s screening committee on Sunday completed its deliberations on probable candidates for the December 7 assembly elections, identifying and shortlisting names for at least 130 seats.

Leaders who attended the meeting said this list will now be looked at by the party’s central election committee (CEC), led by party president Rahul Gandhi, at a meeting on Monday. The party may release its first list of candidates either in the evening after the meeting or on Tuesday.

As per Gandhi’s suggestion to the screening committee before the deliberations were scheduled, the first list would have around 15-20% women candidates.

After marathon meetings at party’s office in Delhi over the past two days, screening committee chairperson Kumari Selja, AICC general secretaries Ashok Gehlot and Avinash Pande, Rajasthan unit chief Sachin Pilot and leader of opposition Rameshwar Dudi on Sunday finalised the list containing around 130-140 names of probable candidates. The list will be submitted to the CEC on Monday at 3pm, one of the leaders said.



In the first half of the day, Selja and Pande presided over a meeting with Gehlot that lasted four hours, and discussed the shortlisted names as the latter was not part of screening committee meetings. In the second half, the two met Pilot and Dudi.

“Our effort is to build a consensus on almost all seats and present the list names before the AICC chief (Gandhi). I believe for the first time it will happen that on majority of seats, leaders’ and workers’ consensus will be there,” Pilot said. On alliance with other political parties, he said that decision rests with Gandhi.

A senior leader working closely on the ticket selection process said on the condition of anonymity, “The screening committee has singled out names on 130-140 seats while confusion over the remaining ones will be sorted out in the next phase. These remaining seats could be shared under an alliance, such as one in Pali, with the Nationalist Congress Party. But decisions related to forming an alliance will be taken by Gandhi.”

The leader also said that the party undertook rigorous exercise to identify winnable women candidates but added that there are chances the party could go with “same number” of candidates as in the assembly election in 2013.

The party had fielded 24 women candidates in the previous elections, of whom only one managed to win.

Another leader, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that names for Jaipur urban and rural constituencies have “by and large” been sorted out but some such as Adarsh Nagar, Vidhyadhar Nagar and Sanganer have been kept on hold. “The decision on giving chance to those who have lost twice in row will be taken by Gandhi but some seats might be taken as exception,” the leader said.

First Published: Nov 12, 2018 09:32:46

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