The Newz Radar
After the postponement of its September 15 meeting, the Congress screening committee is now scheduled to meet in New Delhi on September 20 to zero down on probable candidates for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls.
Sources said the screening committee meeting is likely to continue daily for three-four days. In this meeting, the screening committee aims to have a consensus on 35 to 38 Assembly constituencies where consensus is likely to be on single panel names. The screening committee will finalise the candidates and send these for final approval the Congress central election committee, chaired by party’s national president Sonia Gandhi.
The central committee may approve the first list online after September 25.
After this, the matter will go to the parliamentary board to release the first list of candidates by the end of this month. On September 20, a nine-member screening committee headed by former Union minister Deepa Dasmunshi will consider the panel of applicants.
After a detailed discussion on 1,347 applications received for the 68 Assembly constituencies of the state, the Congress election committee has prepared constituency-wise panels. Single names have been proposed for 35 to 38 seats. These include those of sitting MLA, party’s national secretaries and some senior leaders. At the meeting of the screening committee, there will be no more brainstorming about the seats with lone contenders.
The committee will have to work on the assembly constituencies for which there is more than one contender. The seats where the screening committee could not reach a consensus on deciding a single name would be sent to the central election committee as a panel. Umang Singhar and Dheeraj Gurjar have been appointed members in the screening committee. Both returned to Delhi after visiting Himachal.
Congress’s state in-charge Rajiv Shukla, state president Pratibha Singh, Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, election campaign committee chairman Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu along with co-in-charge Sanjay Dutt, Tejendra Pal Singh Bittu and Gurkirat Singh Kotli are members of the screening committee.