Cong may finalise Bihar poll candidates by this week | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cong may finalise Bihar poll candidates by this week

delhi Updated: Sep 14, 2010 22:13 IST

With the six-phase Bihar assembly elections set to begin from October 20, Congress is expected to finalise its candidates by the end of this week.

A meeting of the party's screening committee to finalise names of candidates will take place on Wednesday.

The committee will send the list of shortlisted candidates to Central Election Committee chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, which will clear the names.

Earlier, the Pradesh Election Committee (PEC) in its two-day meeting in Bihar finalised its list of candidates for each of the 243 constituencies.

The PEC is learnt to have sent the list to the central leadership for consideration. There are at least three names for each of the constituencies in the list.

AICC general secretary in-charge for Bihar Mukul Wasnik, Screening Committee in-charge and party general secretary B K Hariprasad will hold discussions with the state PCC chief Mehboob Ali Kaiser and CLP leader Prakash Ram in a meeting in the AICC before finalising the list of candidates, sources said.

"We are ready for the polls and the list is almost ready," a senior party leader, involved in the exercise said.

Sources in the party said that there will be focus on giving tickets to youths and accommodating all sections of society apart from the winnability criteria as the party has no particular caste or community orientation in the state unlike other parties.

Congress, which has decided to go it alone in the polls there snapping ties with Lalu Prasad's RJD is depending heavily on Rahul Gandhi to spring a surprise in Bihar on the lines of Uttar Pradesh, where the party's tally improved in the last Lok Sabha elections.

Gandhi had recently held rallies in Samastipur and Saharsa and the state leadership has now been asked to prepare a list of segments where they want Gandhi to campaign.

Gandhi had also visited the state early this year to prepare the ground for the organisational elections for the Indian Youth Congress.

Since then, elections have been held and two representatives each from the panchayat, Assembly and Lok Sabha segment wise have been chosen for the IYC.

"Some of them could get party nomination," sources said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi have also been drafted for election campaign along with a host of Union ministers and Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states.

Elections in the JD(U)-BJP ruled state are expected to be a triangular affair with RJD and Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP joining hands to oust the NDA from power minus Congress.

Left parties, who decided not to have any truck with other parties and are contesting under a grand alliance of all left parties, could also emerge as a fourth block.