Chandigarh: In a departure from the past, Congress is "seriously" contemplating a change in the party`s approach wherein winning prospects would no longer be the sole criterion for a candidate to be given a poll ticket.
"Top leaders (of the Congress) are serious about changing the line of winability adopted by it to select the party`s candidates for contesting elections at any level," All India Congress Committee member and former MP, Jagmeet Singh Brar, told a press conference here.
"Now, the winning prospects of a candidate will not be the only criterion, rather other aspects like his or her image, sincerity and commitment towards the party would also be taken into consideration while naming nominees for any polls," Brar said.
He said the party was also prepared to work out a "compromise" with other political outfits to forge electoral alliances before polls, he said.
Referring to the Moga bypoll, Brar said the Congress would have to compromise with the Left and the Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) to ensure defeat of the Akalis in the vote slated for February 23.
"The thin line for the Congress is that it must be together with like-minded political outfits in the larger interest of the country even if there are (certain) ideological differences," he said.
Citing a Supreme Court observation, made on January 17, that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are not "tamper proof", he urged the Election Commission to deploy new EVMs for the Moga bypoll fitted with the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail system.
The new machines have already been tested at about 18 polling stations in various parts of the country.
Brar claimed that the party was contesting the Moga bypoll
"unitedly" under the command of state Congress chief Amarinder Singh and was fully backing its candidate, Vijay Sathi.
The Moga seat fell vacant after two-time Congress MLA Joginderpal Jain left the party to join the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
He urged Sangha Morcha, an amalgam of various political outfits, including the Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) and the Left, to withdraw its nominee in favour of the Congress candidate, keeping in mind the larger interests of Punjab.
Claiming that Jain was facing criminal cases, Brar said the Congress was sure that top leaders of BJP, a SAD ally, would not approve of its candidate for the bypoll.
He described as a "big mistake" the move by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal to bring Jain into the SAD fold.
"It is the corrupt practices adopted by Sukhbir which win polls for him," he said, alleging that the top Akali leadership had poached Jain to get him to contest on a SAD ticket in total disregard of the Representation of the People Act.