The state Congress' party election committee would meet in the first half of January to shortlist its candidates for the four Lok Sabha seats of the state, said Sukhvinder Singh Sukhoo, the state Congress chief while talking to reporters here on Sunday afternoon.
“Once the candidates are shortlisted, their names will be sent to the party high command for the final approval,” he said, adding that the party had already received recommendations of all the blocks and district committees and most of them had asked the high command to name the candidates. He said about 30 persons had applied for Congress tickets from the four seats.
He said the chances of the candidate winning will be the criteria for selection. “We will field strong candidates and win all the seats, even Hamirpur, which has been the BJP's stronghold for the past 18 years,” he added.
The Congress state president described the party's December 25 rally in Hamirpur as a “historic one”. “Ambika Soni, the All India Congress Committee general secretary, will be the key speaker at the rally, which will set the tone for the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.
He also charged the BJP with indulging in corruption during its regime and added that the Congress would expose its “misdeeds” in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
Sukhoo said the BJP had failed to act as a strong opposition during the recently concluded winter session of the Vidhan Sabha. “It resorted to walkouts as it had no agenda. This way, the BJP ignored the interests of the people of the state,” he said.
Replying to another question, he favored projecting Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Minister. He said that party was working well under his “dynamic leadership”.