Cong to finalize Bihar assembly poll candidates in a fortnight

Congress will finalize its candidates for Bihar assembly polls within a fortnight with greater representation to youth.

Updated: Sep 08, 2010, 20:49 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress will finalize its candidates for Bihar assembly polls within a fortnight with greater representation to youth in line with Rahul Gandhi`s plans to infuse fresh blood in the organization.

An indication to this effect was given by Congress state chief Mehboob Ali Kaiser who met Congress President Sonia Gandhi today.

"We congratulated her on her re-election as the party chief. The issue of Bihar election was also discussed. We informed her that Pradesh Election Committee (PEC) will be meeting soon to prepare the list of candidates," Kaiser told reporters after meeting Gandhi and AICC general secretary in-charge of the state Mukul Wasnik.

The PEC is meeting on September 12 and September 13.

Kaiser said the party will try to announce names of candidates for all the seats in one go, which could happen on September 20 or 21, a few days after the screening committee meets here September 15 or 16.

"The list is almost ready. It will be announced after the meeting of the PEC and the Central Election Committee by the middle of this month," a senior AICC leader involved in the exercise said.

The leader said the focus will be on giving tickets to youth and accommodating all sections of society.

"Youths will be the harbinger of change in Bihar. More than 60 percent voters of the state are aged between 20 to 40 years among whom Rahul Gandhi has an instant appeal. We are heavily banking on them," another leader said.

Sources said Rahul Gandhi will be the star campaigner for the party. Enthused by the success of his recent rallies in Saharsa and Samastipur, AICC has asked the state leadership to prepare a list of assembly segments where they want Gandhi to campaign.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi will also address election rallies in Bihar, a leader said.

Rahul Gandhi had visited the state earlier this year to prepare the ground for the organizational 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.

The six-phased Bihar assembly elections will begin on October 20. The term of the 243-member assembly will end on November 27.