Lok Sabha elections 2019: Haryana Congress worried over delay in candidates list
Although the Congress released its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Delhi on Tuesday, the party rank and file in Gurgaon is worried over the delay in finalising names of candidates for May 12, when polling for the Lok Sabha elections will take place in Haryana. Party insiders said they were worried that a delay would leave less time for the candidates to connect with the masses as most constituencies in the state are spread over vast areas.
“This is a very important election and the names of candidates should have been announced by now. Although the Parivartan Yatra has helped boost the cadre’s morale, they need a candidate they can pitch to seek votes,” said a senior Congress leader in the city preferring anonymity.
When asked about the delay in naming the candidates, captain (retd) Ajay Singh Yadav, member of the coordination committee said that party had already initiated the screening process, but since party general secretary and Haryana in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad was in Jammu and Kashmir, the names would be finalized after he comes back on April 7.
“There has been no delay. The Congress rank and file is ready to beat the BJP on all 10 seats,” he said, adding that he was ready to take on BJP’s Rao Inderjeet Singh, if the party gave ticket to him.
State Congress president Ashok Tanwar said that the selection process is ongoing and the party candidates will be announced soon. “The Parivartan yatra has galvanized the party and it is ready to take on the BJP. The names will be announced by April 10,” he said.
Party leaders and workers said the delay was perhaps due to the central leadership waiting for BJP to show its cards first, as the entire poll arithmetic would be based on caste calculations. However, they maintained that they wanted the names to be announced at the earliest.
“It is important for the party to know what BJP is doing. This is not a delay but a calculated move to wait and watch,” senior Congress leader Pradeep Zaildar said.
A member of the Congress coordination committee, who was involved in discussions with the screening committee, however allayed fears of delay in name announcement.
On the condition of anonymity he said that the party has almost finalized candidates for seven of the ten constituencies in Haryana and discussions were on to select the remaining three. “The names of Kumari Selja from Ambala, Ashok Tanwar from Sirsa, Navin Jindal from Kurukshetra, Shruti Choudhary from Hissar, Deepinder Hooda from Rohtak, Ajay Yadav from Gurgaon, Avtar Singh Bhadana from Faridabad are almost final,” he said, adding that candidatures for Karnal, Sonipat and Hissar were still open.
A party worker, seeking anonymity, said that at present the Congress has an edge because it has powerful local leaders who can take on the BJP, but any further delay in announcing names could dent the party prospects. “They need to cover a large population spread over vast areas,” he said.