Worried about dissidents spoiling the prospects of its official candidates, the Congress is adopting a host of measures to check its in-house rebellion in the upcoming assembly elections in five states.
Top party sources told HT that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has already sent clear instructions that any senior leader who recommends a candidate will also be held accountable if the person joins the fray against the party’s official nominee.
Meanwhile, the BJP on Sunday night dropped six sitting MLAs as it released a list of 67 candidates for the 90-member Chhattisgsarh assembly. Chief minister Raman Singh, who is seeking a third term, will again contest from Rajnandgaon. The names were cleared by the party’s central election committee. Senior leaders including BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi were present, party general secretary Ananth Kumar said.
The Congress high command has reportedly also taken an undertaking from all senior leaders in the election-bound states that they will not promote rebel candidates. In some elections many Congress aspirants joined the fray as independent candidates. In Madhya Pradesh last year, almost 60 leaders had contested as rebels, according to an internal report of the party.
In Chhattisgarh, Congress has taken a cautious approach even in releasing the list of its official candidates. “After the party released its first list of candidates for 12 seats the BJP has offered ticket in Bijapur to one of our failed aspirant. So, we are holding back the release of the second list and will wait for the BJP to spell out its list first,” BK Hariprasad, Congress general secretary and in-charge of Chhattisgarh told HT.