Congress to forward probable candidates’ lists

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has questioned state Congress units to forward their list of probable candidates by the third week of February, kick-starting what is seen as early Congress preparations for the Lok Sabha elections, it is reliably learned.

This, even as the AICC has decided to go further with the party’s election preparations across the country alongside efforts to stitch up pre-poll alliances in about eight states.

The Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chiefs have been demanded to send a list of three probable candidates — for each of the Lok Sabha constituencies the party is planning to contest — by February 20, from which the party’s central election committee will make the final choice. With maximum BJPCongress direct fight expected in most constituencies for the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress has to win as many seats it can to enhance its chances in post-poll coalition politics.

The Congress core committee is scheduled to hold three meetings in the next 10 days in Delhi to fine-tune its election preparations and campaign themes, comprising projecting an alternate agenda for governance for core sectors that will also include farmers and unemployed youth, sources said. More election concerned committees are expected to be announced soon, both at the AICC and PCC levels.

The central leadership has also demanded the PCCs to streamline the party’s booth-level workers through the ‘Congress Sahyogi’ project and the ‘Project Shakti’ for maximum mobilization of voters. Like in the current assembly polls, the Congress leadership will also give an opportunity for workers propose their preferred nominees through the Shakti app.

Rahul Gandhi is anticipated to start his campaign from early February and will address party leaders and special conclaves of booth-level workers. With the budget session of Parliament slated to end by the second week of February, the party is planning to dive headlong into campaigning.

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