A Congress party committee headed by Mohsina Kidwai met in the capital on Tuesday to discuss the names of prospective candidates from different assembly seats for the forthcoming polls.
In the meeting that lasted five hours, Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken, MP Jagdish Tytler and Congress leader Krishna Tirath met the screening committee to make their recommendations. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Jai Prakash Aggarwal, AICC general secretary (Delhi) Ashok Gehlot, AICC general secretary BK Hariprasad and Jagmeet Singh Brar were present in the meeting.
Party sources said 15 sitting MLAs might not find their names on the list of candidates for the 2008 assembly polls. “The leaders are looking at candidates whose performance has not been up to the mark in their tenure as MLAs,” said a source.
Aggarwal, however, denied that any decision has been taken against any member hopeful of getting a ticket for contesting the polls. “We have decided to sit down and talk to all the members of the Congress election committee and take their opinion on prospective candidates and strategies for the polls,” said Aggarwal.
“A candidate’s ability to win the polls would be the only criteria,” he added. The screening committee has its task cut out to present a panel of names of each assembly segment for contesting the polls. The AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, however, would take the final decision.
“Several party members are distressed over the loss of their constituency in the delimitation process. Others are bothered by the claims of their party colleagues from the neighbouring assembly seat whose area may have been included in theirs,” said a source.
The fracas between Talwinder Singh Marwah and Tajdar Babar over the Jungpura seat is one such example. Babar’s Minto Road constituency was scrapped in the delimitation and large portions of the former assembly seat added to Jungpura.
While Marwah considers the Jungpura seat his preserve, Babar has also reportedly staked a claim.