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Congress mulls women, youth candidates on Rajasthan seats it lost thrice in a row

Congress candidates had lost twice in a row in about 65 assembly constituencies in the 2008 and 2013 elections. If the 2003 assembly election results are considered, the party lost thrice in a row in about 30 seats.

rajasthan elections 2018 Updated: Sep 14, 2018 00:53 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Congress,Rajasthan,BJP
A Congress leader said the move is aimed at developing a new leadership.(AP/Picture for representation)

In the Rajasthan assembly elections due by the year-end, the Congress is planning to field women and youths on seats the party had lost thrice or twice in a row, a senior leader said, a move aimed at developing a new leadership.

Congress candidates had lost twice in a row in about 65 assembly constituencies in the 2008 and 2013 elections. The party though won 96 seats in 2008 and formed the government in the state. If the 2003 assembly election results are considered, the party lost thrice in a row in about 30 seats. The BJP is most confident of winning these assembly segments.

Some of the seats where the Congress has not tasted victory since 2003 are Ajmer North and South, Beawar, Vidhyadhar Nagar, Phulera, Sanganer, Udaipur, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand, Nagaur, Jhalarapatan, Khanpur, Bhilwara, Ramganj Mandi, Bayana, Jaisalmer, Parbatsar, Bali, and Pali.

“Winnability is the foremost mantra in candidate selection, then comes social engineering, and other filters will be considered after that. The party this time is considering fielding women and youth candidates on seats, which we have lost thrice or twice in a row,” the senior Congress leader, involved in finalising candidate lists, said on condition of anonymity.

The age factor, he said, will be considered to some extent, but the decisive criteria is winnability. Of the 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan, the party will field over 50 new faces, replacing those who haven’t visited their constituencies or have rarely done, he said.

“The new faces would be from women and youth, that too who are prominent, energetic, have a history of social work and have worked on party lines.” The party leader said outsiders would be denied tickets.

“The party’s focus this time will be on giving opportunity to communities or castes, which were traditionally our vote bank but were left out and deprived of representation. Another important factor which will be executed effectively while distributing tickets is social engineering.”

The senior leader said the screening committee chaired by Selja Kumari has discussed about all the 200 seats. The reports of four in-charge co-coordinators and a survey conducted by an independent agency have been received and studied by the committee.

“The in-charge co-coordinators have submitted a panel of minimum three and maximum of five to seven candidates. The names which have matched in the reports have been kept on top. This time the number of women candidates too has increased and names have been received from all the districts,” he said.

The screening committee will submit a tentative candidates’ list to AICC president Rahul Gandhi by September-end and the final one by October 15. “The party might announce a list of candidates, comprising more new faces, on priority to provide them adequate time for campaign,” the leader said.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 00:53 IST