Hours before nominations start, Cong yet to name candidates for Assembly polls

Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, Mar 14:

Several months before the announcement of the election schedule by the Election Commission, the Congress had said it would announce the list of party candidates for the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Odisha well in time so as to give them sufficient time for electioneering.Congress

But even as filing of nominations for the first phase of polls in the state begin tomorrow, the party is still grappling with the final list for Assembly elections. The screening committee of the Congress party is yet to finalise the names due to internal wrangling over selection of candidates, party sources say.

The BJP and and the ruling BJD, it may be noted, have already announced more than half their candidates for Assembly constituencies going to polls in the first phase on April 10.

Many senior Congress leaders are crying foul, accusing the state leadership of ignoring them and picking names for the Assembly constituencies arbitrarily.

On his part, the PCC president has claimed that the names of candidates have been recommended on the basis of their winning prospects in the coming polls.

He also said that the candidates for all 147 Assembly constituencies would be selected by the committee by March 15 and ticket would be distributed soon.

Annoyed over the virtual monopoly of the state leadership in the selection of candidates, some senior leaders have decided to meet the Congress high command. They have already sought an  appointment with party vice president Rahul Gandhi to apprise him of the matter.

It is to be noted that Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan, Chiranjib Biswal, Ranjib Biswal and Lalatendu (Lulu) Bidyadhar Mohapatra have already shot off a missive to the party high command informing it of the sorry state of affairs in the Congress.

The young brigade had held a meeting at the residence of Lulu Mohapatra yesterday.

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