The Congress screening committee to shortlist candidates in Rajasthan met for the second consecutive day on Tuesday. Chairman of the screening committee Ajay Maken and state in charge Gurudas Kamat met members of parliament (MPs) from the state to discuss names of probables on Assembly segments within their parliamentary constituencies. The leaders who have been camping in Delhi also discussed the caste equations.
Maken and Kamat held one-to-one meeting with the MPs. The committee is said to have asked them about political situation in state, caste equations in their areas and has asked them to suggest names of candidates on Assembly seats in their constituencies. A couple of MPs reportedly told the committee that it was not proper to seek their recommendation for names on an Assembly constituency.
“The screening committee wanted me to suggest names, but I only gave them a general opinion while I refrained from suggesting specific names as it would be against my interest as an MP,” he said.
Another MP claimed he suggested that the list of candidates should not be announced early. “I have told them that we should at least till last week of this month as we need to take everyone along to make Sonia Gandhi’s rally successful,” he said.
Although, Rahul Gandhi had declared that the party would declare candidates two months in advance, however, the process of taking feedback and making panels itself took so long that meeting this deadline was impossible.
Later, there were contrasting reports about timing of releasing the first list of candidates. One section of the party wanted to announce the list within this week, while others were vehemently opposed to it.
Those who opposed the move included MPs who met the screening committee today. They reportedly told the committee that the list should be made public only in the last week of the month lest the official candidates would run into rebel leaders. They have also suggested that the first list should have names with no chance of opposition or seats, which the party has never won.
The seats with two or more serious contenders should be declared last.
After deliberations over two days, the screening committee is likely to finalise the panels. Some seats will have only single names, whereas the other will have names on priority, sources in the party said.
contest on seats
Chairman of screening committee Ajay Maken and state in charge Gurudas Kamat met MPs from Rajasthan and sought names of probable candidates on Assembly segments within their parliamentary constituencies. In first round, seats with stalwarts were discussed.