Madhya Pradesh assembly polls: Congress ticket seekers have to deposit Rs 50,000 | india news | Hindustan Times
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Madhya Pradesh assembly polls: Congress ticket seekers have to deposit Rs 50,000

Congress general secretary and party affairs in-charge for Madhya Pradesh, Deepak Babaria, announced the decision at a press meet. He said the deposit would be made in the party fund.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2018 21:57 IST
HT Correspondent
A Congress party worker waves the party flag during a function to celebrate Rahul Gandhi taking over as party's president from her mother Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.
A Congress party worker waves the party flag during a function to celebrate Rahul Gandhi taking over as party's president from her mother Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.(AP File Photo)

A person seeking a Congress ticket to contest the coming Madhya Pradesh assembly election will have to deposit Rs 50,000 and it will be non-refundable, the party’s state executive committee decided on Sunday.

Congress general secretary and party affairs in-charge for Madhya Pradesh, Deepak Babaria, announced the decision at a press meet. He said the deposit would be made in the party fund.

Babaria denied that the Congress was closing the door on poor candidates. “For deserving candidates, money won’t be a factor, and we will ask the AICC (All India Congress Committee) to chip in,” he said. However, he added that such assistance would be rare.

Babaria, flanked by state Congress president Arun Yadav, said the non-refundable deposit would weed out non-serious ticket seekers. “If a candidate does not have the money, he should at least have a support group to finance him,” said Babaria. “The party needs the money as its financial condition is not great. Also looking at the way the BJP is spending even in by-elections, we will have to be prepared in every way.”

The process of selecting candidates would start from March 5 and last till March 15, and prospective candidates would be asked to submit their biodata and list of supporters. “We won’t allow ‘shakti pradarshan’ (show of strength) when names are being submitted. They will have ample opportunity to show their strength during protests organised by the party,” said Babaria.

He also announced the Congress would gherao the assembly on March 12 to commemorate the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March and celebrate it as BJP “Quit MP” movement.

Reacting to the Congress announcement on the non-refundable deposit, BJP state spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal wondered if this was a ploy to turn black money into white.

Babaria clarifies statement on candidate age

Clarifying his reported statement in Jabalpur that people more than 60 years old would not be given tickets for the assembly election, Babaria said he had been misquoted. “Making policy decisions is the AICC’s prerogative. All I had said was that I would request candidates above 60 who have contested elections several times to give a chance to the younger generation. Deserving candidates, even if above 60, will be given tickets,” he said.

With the state’s budget session starting on Monday, Babaria warned that the party would protest if the governor “parrots the lies of the government about development”.

Parties are gearing up for assembly elections this year. The term of the current MP assembly ends on January 7, 2019.