The Congress is expected to release its first list of candidates for municipal polls on Thursday evening. The list which was expected to be announced last week was reportedly delayed during the scrutiny of applications. Delhi goes to polls for three municipal bodies on April 23.
Earlier, state unit president Ajay Maken had said that the first list of contestants will be released around March 24. Party sources now say nominees for around 135 wards will be cleared by Thursday evening.
“Names have been shortlisted for various wards. The list may be announced today after Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s rally in Subhash Nagar. Names of candidates for nearly 50% wards will be announced,” a source said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi has also started deliberations over ticket distribution. The first meeting of the election committee headed by Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari was held on Wednesday.
The party is expected to announce its candidates by April 1. The Aam Aadmi Party, Swaraj India, Samajwadi Party, and Bahujan Samaj Party have already released names of candidates for several wards.
The three municipal corporations have 272 wards and the Congress has 83 councillors.
According to the party leaders, all incumbent elected members to the corporations are likely to be nominated again. However, a group of party workers recently met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and complained that the party was giving preference to family members of sitting councillors in ticket distribution.
A delegation led by Delhi Youth Congress president Amit Malik also met Rahul Gandhi requesting to accommodate more young leaders this time.
Earlier, the All India Congress Committee representative in Delhi unit, appointed 13 observers to supervise selection process of candidates for all districts.
These observers are from other states such as Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. They had consultations with block presidents and district level workers to pick names for municipal elections, said a party functionary.