Time for poll sops over, only promises from now on
THE MODEL code having come into effect with the announcement of the election schedule, the time for election sops such as writing off power arrears and creating new job quotas is over.
The scramble now would be for party tickets for the 630 assembly seats up for grabs in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram.
Between now and the polling dates, there would be promises galore by the rival contenders. In the no-holds-barred battle, widely perceived to be the semi-final before the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress and the BJP are unlikely to leave anything to chance.
The exercise of selecting candidates is at an advanced stage in all the five states. While the BJP's central election panel, with the party chief and the Prime Minister in chair, is expected to broadly endorse the state units' recommendations, the Congress could have problems if it goes by the low pre-poll ratings — obtained through independent inputs — of certain sitting MLAs. In any case, the number of discards isn't likely to exceed 8-10 per cent.
The demand for new Congress faces is relatively greater in Rajasthan and Delhi. But for MP's 230 seats, the state-level spadework is mostly over. In Chhattisgarh, the candidatures could be partly influenced by the V.C. Shukla factor.
``We don't expect much problem distributing tickets as we have a large number of elected legislators. The process will take time only where we have to change sitting MLAs,'' said a CWC member. He expects the exercise to be over before Diwali.
On their part, BJP leaders said the RSS and its affiliates too will contribute inputs on the candidates' winnability. Like the Congress, the party might take into account independent assessments of its candidates.
The Congress' screening panels are likely to be announced over the next couple of days.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- On December 21, India joined a growing list of countries to seal off access to people who have been to the UK, suspending all flights to and from the country between December 23 and December 31 in order to stop the spread of a new strain of the coronavirus.
- The RJD is looking to contest seven to eight seats in West Bengal and 12 seats in Assam.