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Congress to field women, youth on seats it has lost thrice in Rajasthan polls

Congress candidates lost twice in a row in about 65 assembly constituencies in the 2008 and 2013 elections.

rajasthan elections 2018 Updated: Sep 14, 2018 09:40 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Congress,BJP,Rajasthan assembly polls
Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot, party senior leader Ashok Gehlot and other during Congress 'Sankalp' rally, Nagaur on September 12.(PTI Photo)

In the year-end Rajasthan elections, the Congress is planning to field women and youth in seats the party has lost twice or thrice in a row, a senior leader said. The move is possibly aimed at developing a new leadership.

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

Some seats where the Congress has not won 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 criterion 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 in seats that we have lost twice or thrice 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 criterion is winnability, in 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 so.

“The new faces would be from among women and youth who are prominent, energetic, have a history of social work and have worked on party lines. The party’s focus this time will be on giving opportunities to communities or castes which were traditionally our vote bank but were left out and deprived of representation,” he said adding that outsiders would be denied tickets

The senior leader said the screening committee chaired by Selja Kumari had discussed all 200 seats. The screening committee will submit a tentative candidates’ list to Congress president Rahul Gandhi by September-end and the final one by October 15

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 00:09 IST