Cong fast-tracks LS candidates' selection in UP

Central observers begin picking party nominees

Not wanting to be left behind the Samajwadi Party and the BSP and to give ample time to contestants to prepare, the Congress has also fast-tracked the process of selection of candidates from Uttar Pradesh for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The process is likely to be expedited as the SP declared its list of 55 candidates on Friday. The Bahujan Samaj Party has also selected its nominees for many of the seats from the state.

According to senior state Congress leaders here, the ‘central observers’, who have been appointed by the party high command to select ‘winnable’ nominees, have started the process of shortlisting possible candidates.

The observers have been meeting the possible nominees and holding discussions with their respective zonal heads. “Each observer has been entrusted with the responsibility to select 10 Lok Sabha candidates,” said a senior party leader.

The leader said the party did not want to be left behind the other political outfits and plans to declare the names of its candidates well in advance.

“The party does not want to thrust any candidate from outside. Local leaders will be kept in the loop and their opinion will be given due consideration,” he said.

He said the party, this time, would also keep the caste equations in mind while selecting the candidates. “Caste plays an important role in UP polls. There is no use of ignoring this factor,” he said.

Zones formed

Congress has divided the entire state in eight zones each with different heads. These zonal heads would be playing an important role in the selection of the candidates, according to party leaders.

“While all the sitting MPs are likely to be given re-nomination, a lot of young and new faces could also be fielded,” a state Congress leader said.

Although the Congress had bagged 21 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, it received a severe drubbing in the recently held assembly elections as it could only secure 29 seats. It had to face a humiliating defeat even in the Nehru-Gandhi pocket boroughs of Raebareli and Amethi.

The party did not win any assembly seat in Amethi and was only able to win two seats in Raebareli.

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