Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot was on Friday appointed as the head of the Congress screening committee for Punjab assembly polls. This six-member screening committee will scrutinise applications for party ticket for the upcoming assembly polls in the state, and the party’s central election committee will finalise the candidates thereafter in consultation with the party leadership.
Besides Gehlot, the committee comprises party secretary in charge of the state Asha Kumari, Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Charanjit Singh Channi, former Indian Youth Congress chief Rajiv Satav and former MP Meenakshi Natarajan.
The announcement was made by chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, who said party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi have approved the setting up of the committee.
Congress has been in political wilderness for 10 years in the state and is striving to get power back from the ruling Akali-BJP combine. The party, which is going to polls with former CM Capt Amarinder Singh as its face, is facing stiff competition from the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The high-stakes Punjab Assembly election is slated for early next year and campaigning is on in full swing in the state.