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Last Updated : Mar 06, 2019 11:49 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, Congress finalises two-step candidate selection process

The party’s internal survey showed that candidates favoured by booth-level workers won by greater margins in most constituencies

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The Indian National Congress is set to roll out a two-step process to choose its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The plan is to get the party cadre on board the decision-making process.

According to a report by The Economic Times, the Congress will first ask its grassroot party workers to indicate their preferred candidate via SMS and phone. The party will then compile a constituency-wise shortlist using this internal opinion survey.

Then, five top candidates will be listed for every constituency based on indications from booth-level workers. The party would then go back to the party workers and ask them to pick their top choice.

Based on the response, three names will be placed in front of the screening committee, the report said.

The process has begun in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. According to the report, Chhattisgarh’s state unit has even passed a resolution formalising the selection process.

As per the report, the process was used in select constituencies of Madhya Pradesh during last year's assembly elections .

The party’s internal survey showed that candidates favoured by booth-level workers won by greater margins in most constituencies, the report added.

The Congress President has reportedly asked all state units to complete the process within two months. The Lok Sabha elections are expected to occur in April-May.

A senior party functionary told the newspaper that the survey “clearly indicates Congress lost constituencies where a ‘paratrooper’ not favoured by booth-level workers was fielded.”

Clamour for Priyanka Gandhi to contest grows

Despite this process put in place, clamour has grown in constituency-level units in Uttar Pradesh, which are seeking newly appointed All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary for UP East Priyanka Gandhi to contest from their constituencies.

The Gorakhpur's Congress unit on January 27 raised a demand for fielding Priyanka from there, depicting her as a modern 'Jhansi ki Rani'.

Gorakhpur is a stronghold of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who represented Gorakhpur the constituency between 1998 and 2017.

On January 24, the Varanasi unit of the Congress had also demanded that Priyanka be pitted directly against Prime Minister Narendra Modi to galvanise voters of the state and neighbouring states. PM Modi has represented the constituency since 2014.
First Published on Jan 28, 2019 09:34 am
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