Cong list for Lok Sabha polls by February 7

Party to begin finalising candidates after Friday

Cong list for Lok Sabha polls by February 7

In a bid to give its candidates a headstart, the Congress is all set to announce its nominees for the Lok Sabha elections by February 7.

Party sources said a schedule has been drawn to ensure implementation of the “new process” of candidate selection put in place by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

The party would embark on a marathon exercise of finalising candidates after the All India Congress Committee meeting on Friday. “Meetings of pradesh election committees are scheduled all across the country on January 21, which will be followed by consultations with important leaders from the states. This exercise would be held between January 22 and 26,” a party source said.

Over four days beginning January 27, the screening committees set up last week will meet to shortlist the names of candidates to be forwarded to the central election committee (CEC) chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

“The CEC will meet everyday from February 1-7 and lists would be announced everyday during that period,” the source said.

Rahul has been pressing for early declaration of candidates. He held consultations with the chairpersons of the screening committees set up for all states and Union territories on Friday and underlined the need for giving importance to the “voice of the people” in selection of candidates.

For the first time in recent years, the Congress will be announcing its candidates early. Usually, the party is in the habit of delaying the announcement which at times has happened on the last date for filing nomination. The exercise is also in line with the recommendation of the A K Antony panel entrusted with the task of drawing up an action plan for the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. The panel had recommended that candidates should be declared at least a few months ahead of the elections.

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