Antony panel meets as Cong takes measured steps to K'taka polls

Antony panel meets as Cong takes measured steps to K'taka polls

Buoyed by its recent success in civic polls in Karnataka, Congress has begun steps to put its house in order to wrest power from BJP in the May 5 Assembly elections.

As part of the exercise, the newly constituted high level co-ordination and monitoring committee headed by Defence Minister A K Antony for the coming Assembly polls had its maiden meeting today, with the first list of candidates likley to be announced next week.

Former Union Minister Ambika Soni, Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Jitendra Singh are other members of the committee.

AICC general secretary and incharge of Karnataka affairs Madhusudan Mistry, KPCC president G Parmeshwara and Congress Legislative Party leader Siddaramaiah are ex-officio members of the Committee.

The meeting of the Antony Committee was held hours after party chief Sonia Gandhi held consultations with Parmeshwara and Siddharamiah on the strategy ahead.
Rahul Gandhi had a meeting with Parmeshwara and Siddharamiah in the party office yesterday.

This is for the first time such a high powered group has been set up for any assembly election in a single state.

A senior party leader speaking on condition of anonymity said the first list of candidates could be announced next week after meeting of the Central Election Committee. The party has already shortlisted the panel of candidates from the PCC level.

The group headed by Antony to "coordinate and monitor" assembly elections has been constituted in the backdrop of apprehensions that senior leaders from Karnataka would grab major portion of tickets for their followers which could lead to wrong choice of candidates and affect the prospects of the organisation.