The party has decided not to give tickets to more than half-a-dozen sitting MLAs.
After the announcement of election dates by the Election Commission, the Congress in Madhya Pradesh is planning to declare its first list of around 107 candidates on 15 October which will include around 88 sitting legislators out of 96. The party has decided not to give tickets to more than half-a-dozen sitting MLAs.
Sources within the party claim all the surveys and research conducted either by state Congress or its central leadership have been considered during the process of ticket distribution. By considering multiple researches, the party has also tried to eliminate more-than-two-member panel seats by mostly considering only top two candidates on the constituencies where there were several aspirants. Besides the first list, sources claim that there are around thirty seats more where the candidates have been selected and will soon be declared.
Moreover, there are around 80 seats with two member-panels and the party, according to leaders, need to discuss the electoral prospect of each candidate on such seats. A party leader said, “Decision will be taken by keeping in view the surveys Congress has conducted.”
A senior Congress leader said, “There are some sitting legislators whom even after being told to straighten up and increase their involvement with electorate have not been able to perform and comply with the advisory of the state leadership, therefore they have been denied tickets.”
Another Congress leader said, “There were already statements spoken out by Kamal Nath that they don’t need to declare their tickets early, that was no need of it. Now that the election dates have been announced, the party will subsequently inform the candidates to prepare whose names have not been announced yet.”
In addition to that, the party has also categorised each constituency as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ seats. According to leaders, ‘A’ seats are those constituencies that the party is sure that it will pocket those seats. There are around 70 such seats. There is another lot of around 85 seats which come under category ‘B’. On such seats, the party leaders suggest, the leadership is convinced that they will win the seats if they continue to keep the party’s momentum high. However, on C category seats, which are around 80, the party is believed to keep it low and not waste their resources.
Thereby, a party leader said, we are expecting more than 150 seats in the state. It is said that AICC general secretary of Madhya Pradesh Randeep Singh Surjewala has reaffirmed to the party leaders that the Congress is going to see similar electoral behaviour in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh (which are adjoining states). However, a Congress spokesperson said, “The BJP election machinery has always been challenging, and even in this election, it is going to be challenging. Congress doesn’t have to let its guard down. There is a wave in favour of the Congress, but the saffron camp has a chunk of committed voters. With organised electioneering campaigns and the most popular star campaigners in the face of Modi, we will do everything to make it a neck-to-neck fight.”