During the 2017 Assembly polls, Gujarat Congress received over 1,200 applications for 182 seats.
NEW DELHI: The Congress in Gujarat has completed the screening process of applicants seeking tickets for the Assembly elections. The party, according to a source, will declare more than 50 candidates this week. A Congress leader said, “Most of the sitting MLAs’ names will repeat in the list.” There are 66 Congress MLAs in the Gujarat Assembly.
This will also be the first batch of candidates declared by the Congress. Party insiders say the selection is solely done on merit and due process is strictly followed in selecting candidates. The party is said to have done ground assessment of every candidate and the ones with the most chances of winning have been finalised in the list. Moreover, the candidates preferred were the ones who have the most acceptance among people in their respective constituencies, a source said. Candidates’ financial conditions, popularity and reach were also taken into consideration before finalising the candidates. “We received many applications seeking tickets in every constituency, we have interviewed them all and all of the candidates were asked to detail about their plans as to how they would win their respective seats in elections. We have completed the interviewing part of all the applicants on all the 182 seats and now we will declare the first list of candidates soon, maybe on Sunday,” a party insider said. Congress Gujarat spokesperson Manish Doshi told The Sunday Guardian, “We had said that whoever wants to run for the elections should drop their names in district Congress committees; after that, the names were screened. The tickets will be given on the basis of winnability and that has been the first criteria throughout. Also, a candidate’s commitment to the party and involvement in party events were also taken into consideration while finalising the names.”
He further added, “We also conducted surveys at the local level and took the review of candidates on the ground level. Yes, we have conducted interviews of all the candidates on all 182 seats and asked them very short and important questions like ‘how would they win the elections’?”
During the last Assembly elections in 2017, Gujarat Congress received over 1,200 applications for 182 seats. However this time, a Congress leader said, the applications the party received are less. Congress has withstood the defections in the party as many of its leaders left to join the BJP in the state. The AAP, which is the fresh entrant in the upcoming electoral battle, has declared 41 candidates divided in four batches. An AAP leader said, “The party will declare its candidates in tens and twenties in coming times as the leadership believes announcing small batches is a safe bet and more relevant for an entry level party like ours.”
Meanwhile, the BJP has not declared its list of candidates yet. It is believed in the saffron party that the elections will be contested under the leadership of current Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. But the Congress and AAP have shown no clarity over its CM face for the elections.