Ahead of Assembly polls, the Congress in Madhya Pradesh is set to announce its first list of candidates before 20 September, according to party insiders. However, other leaders believe that the party has no hurry to declare their candidates as has been said by Kamal Nath, CM face of Congress in the state. “Today, we formally started the democratic process and many types of discussions took place. This is a continuous process. This will not end in a day or two,” state in-charge Randeep Surjewala told reporters on Wednesday after the meeting. On announcing of candidates, Surjewala said that Central Election Committee will take the final decision.
Moreover, two senior leaders in Madhya Pradesh said the first list can have around 100 candidates which will include the majority of sitting MLAs. Another said, it may be around 86 candidates. There are inputs that those sitting MLAs who have failed to work on the ground will not be given tickets again as they have not been compliant in performing their duties. A leader privy to the developments said, around six sitting MLAs may not get tickets. A party spokesperson said, “Around eight months back, there were around 35 MLAs in the red zone. They had been unable to perform. Then the state leadership had informed them about their backlog and I think a majority of them took heed and tried to reduce the gap with their electorate.”
Party leaders suggested that the leadership wants to complete the ticket distribution process by 20 October. A senior party leader said, “The first list is planned to come soon, second in the first week of October, after which two smaller lists will come within the next two weeks.”
Party leaders are of the view that there are around 150 such seats where there are no competing candidates and thus easy to distribute tickets. A Congress spokesperson said, “Last time there was Scindia and he had to accommodate his loyalists, therefore, it was more difficult to decide which candidate should be given respective seats. However, after his defection from the party, where his many loyalists left with him who were aspirants on some of such seats, it has become easier to distribute tickets there.” Moreover, there are around 60 such seats where there is a panel of two candidates and around 15 such seats where there is a panel of three or more than three candidates. Sources suggest that more focus will be given on the criteria of winning.
There are 230 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh for which the BJP has already announced the names of 39 candidates. The meeting of the screening committee was held for two days this week to finalise the candidates.