New Delhi: With the six-phase Bihar assembly
elections set to begin from October 20, Congress is expected
to finalise its candidates by the end of this week.
A meeting of the party`s screening committee to finalise
names of candidates will take place tomorrow.
The committee will send the list of shortlisted
candidates to Central Election Committee chaired by Congress
President Sonia Gandhi, which will clear the names.
Earlier, the Pradesh Election Committee (PEC) in its
two-day meeting in Bihar finalised its list of candidates for
each of the 243 constituencies.
The PEC is learnt to have sent the list to the central
leadership for consideration. There are at least three names
for each of the constituencies in the list.
AICC general secretary in-charge for Bihar Mukul Wasnik,
Screening Committee in-charge and party general secretary B K
Hariprasad will hold discussions with the state PCC chief
Mehboob Ali Kaiser and CLP leader Prakash Ram in a meeting in
the AICC before finalising the list of candidates, sources
"We are ready for the polls and the list is almost
ready," a senior party leader, involved in the exercise said.
Sources in the party said that there will be focus on
giving tickets to youths and accommodating all sections of
society apart from the winnability criteria as the party has
no particular caste or community orientation in the state
unlike other parties.
Congress, which has decided to go it alone in the polls
there snapping ties with Lalu Prasad`s RJD is depending
heavily on Rahul Gandhi to spring a surprise in Bihar on the
lines of Uttar Pradesh, where the party`s tally improved in
the last Lok Sabha elections.
Gandhi had recently held rallies in Samastipur and
Saharsa and the state leadership has now been asked to prepare
a list of segments where they want Gandhi to campaign.
Gandhi had also visited the state early this year to
prepare the ground for the organisational elections for the
Indian Youth Congress.
Since then, elections have been held and two
representatives each from the panchayat, Assembly
and Lok Sabha segment wise have been chosen for the IYC.
"Some of them could get party nomination," sources said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President
Sonia Gandhi have also been drafted for election campaign
along with a host of Union ministers and Chief Ministers of
Elections in the JD(U)-BJP ruled state are expected to
be a triangular affair with RJD and Ram Vilas Paswan`s LJP
joining hands to oust the NDA from power minus Congress.
Left parties, who decided not to have any truck with
other parties and are contesting under a grand alliance of all
left parties, could also emerge as a fourth block.