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Congress may field MLAs in at least 5 Rajasthan Lok Sabha constituencies

Earlier, Congress had decided to exclude MPs and legislators, candidates who lost the 2018 Rajasthan Assembly poll and relatives of leaders,while selecting candidates for 2019 Lok Sabha election.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 15, 2019 15:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
rajasthan congress,sachin pilot,lok sabha elections in rajasthan
New Delhi: A Congress party supporter waves party flag after party's win in the Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, at the party headquarters in New Delhi, Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary) (PTI12_11_2018_000262A)(PTI)

After several rounds of brainstorming in last two months, Congress is now considering to field at least five of its Rajasthan legislators in Lok Sabha polls. The party is also likely to give tickets to new faces in more than 10 constituencies, said senior party leaders who didn’t want to be named.

Earlier, Congress had decided to exclude MPs and legislators, candidates who lost the 2018 Assembly poll and relatives of leaders,while selecting candidates for 2019 LS election.

According to the new strategy, the Congress is also likely to field fewer women. In 2014, the party fielded six women candidates and all of them lost. In 2009, there were five women candidates from Congress, of whom, three won in Nagaur, Jodhpur and Chittorgarh.

Another senior leader said there is consensus on the name of candidates on around 18 seats. For the remaining seven constituencies, discussions on selection of candidates are on, he added.

“There will be clarity on these seats in the next screening committee meeting on March 17,” he added.

However, on Wednesday, state party president Sachin Pilot said the party had reached consensus on candidates for all 25 seats. “We have tried to give preference to good, winnable and new faces,” he said.

Also Read | Lok Sabha elections 2019: Here is all you need to know about Rajasthan

A third leader said though the party laid down certain exclusion criteria before the exercise to select candidates began and in the changed political narrative after the Pulwama terror attack and Balakot airstrike, the party seems to have switched gears and now focusing on winning prospect alone.

However, the decision on fielding MLAs is yet to be taken by central election committee, headed by national party president Rahul Gandhi.

The third leader said the party will be fielding new faces in around 10-12 seats, especially those where the party has lost twice or thrice in last four LS polls, or where the margin of defeat was huge in 2014 poll such as Jodhpur, Churu, Jaipur city, Sikar, Jhalawar-baran and Bikaner.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan Mahila Congress Committee is demanding tickets for women in around seats the party has lost twice or thrice in a row: Churu, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Udaipur. “The number of women aspirants has increased many folds in comparison to last elections, but winning prospect is the sole criterion for selection,” he said.

Also Read | In Rajasthan, Congress unlikely to reap 2018 Assembly poll advantage

For complete coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, click here

First Published: Mar 15, 2019 15:46 IST