Shimla, September 1
As many as 1,347 aspirants, three times the 2017 elections, have applied for the Congress ticket in 68 constituencies for the forthcoming Assembly elections. Today was the last date for applying for the party ticket.
The Assembly elections are due to be held in November. The ticket aspirants applied for 68 seats, which include 17 reserved for Scheduled Castes and three for Scheduled Tribes. The State Congress Election Committee will be holding its meeting in Delhi on September 5.
Poll committee to meet in Delhi on Sept 5
- Around 400 aspirants had applied for Congress ticket in 2017
- State Election Committee to meet in Delhi on September 5
- Congress is likely to field 20 of its 22 sitting MLAs
Naresh Chauhan, chairman of the Congress Media Cell, said, “While 677 applications have been received online, 670 people have applied offline. More than 40 applications have been received from Shimla (Urban)”. He added that the list of applicants would be placed before the State Election Committee.
This time, the applications were invited without charging any fee, which was probably the reason that so many people had applied for the ticket. Around 400 people had applied for the ticket in the last Assembly elections. The ticket aspirants submitted applications both at the offices of District Congress Committees (DCC) as well Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC).
Party sources said that the State Election Committtee comprising of 19 members, besides the heads of frontal organisations could forge a consensus on the criteria to be adopted so that the screening of the aspirants become easier. The criteria could include age and the number of elections a person had lost in the past, besides the margin of election defeat.
The Congress is likely to field 20 of its 22 sitting MLAs; two MLAs had joined the BJP recently. “The State Election Committee can finalise candidates in nearly over half of the 68 Assembly segments where there is no dispute. This will enable the candidates to start campaigning aggressively,” said a party leader.
There is also possibility that the Congress can field some senior BJP leaders, who are likely to be denied ticket and can switch sides. Former minister and BJP leader Khimi Ram had joined the Congress and was likely to be fielded from the Banjar seat in Kullu district.
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