Congress Holds First Meet To Pick Candidates. 10 States, 60 Seats On Table

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Congress Holds First Meet To Pick Candidates. 10 States, 60 Seats On Table

New Delhi:

The Congress is getting down to the contentious task of candidate selection, with only 10 more days to go for Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. The party’s election committee is meeting in Delhi this evening. On its list are 10 states, for which it has to pick 60 candidates.

The list includes Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim and Lakshadweep.

The Congress, though, is yet to resolve the seat-sharing issue in two crucial states — Maharashtra and Bengal, which together account for 90 seats.

Talks with Maha Vikas Aghadi allies for the 48 seats in Maharashtra is still in progress. In Bengal, the Congress is trying to placate Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who has put her INDIA membership on hold, miffed with the way the seat sharing process was going.

Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy is in Delhi and will take part in the meeting. Sources said decision can be taken on nine of the state’s 17 Lok Sabha seats.

Sources said the Congress is confident about south Telangana, though north Telangana may prove a challenge. Mr Reddy said he is confident that the party will get 14 of the 17 seats. For the rest, he blames “match-fixing” between the BJP and former Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi.

Declaring that the party’s performance will be a referendum on his three-month governance, he said the party’s state unit had wanted Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to contest from the state.

Mr Gandhi, though, is likely to stick to his current seat, Kerala’s Wayanad, and will attempt to win back Amethi. His Bharat Jodo Yatra is slated to finish in Mumbai on March 20.

Mr Gandhi, still, is attending today’s meeting. He and party chief Mallikarjun Kharge took a flight to Delhi from Rajasthan, where they were at the yatra. The party’s former chief Sonia Gandhi is also at the meet.

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