50 sitting Cong MPs may not get ticket

Party to bring in new faces to appease electorate

50 sitting Cong MPs may not get ticket

The Congress is set to deny Lok Sabha tickets to 25 per cent of its sitting MPs and bring in new faces in large numbers to tackle the massive dissatisfaction among the electorate over 10 years of UPA rule.

Congress leaders associated with the selection of candidates said the party was mulling fielding youth and women from 350 parliamentary constituencies.

The party is also considering against fielding at least 50 of the sitting MPs against whom there is dissatisfaction among the electorate. This was also said to be one of the reasons for delaying the announcement of candidates after the first meeting of the Central Election Committee chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi on February 17, when the parliament was still in session.

The second meeting of the CEC was held on Tuesday. A meeting of the CEC is now scheduled on Friday to discuss probable candidates for the elections.

A major stumbling block in the process of finalising the candidates is that the Congress is yet to take a decision on the pre-poll alliances it plans to have in various states including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Bihar.

The Congress had set up a committee chaired by Defence Minister A K Antony to decide on prospective alliance partners for the Lok Sabha elections. It had finalised the tie-up with the NCP and while talks for Bihar were on, Lok Janshakti Party led by Ramvilas Paswan crossed over to the NDA, taking the Congress by surprise.

Meanwhile, the Congress had finalised its alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD which was set to be announced in Patna. The Congress has agreed to contest on 12 seats while the NCP is expected to field Union Minister Tariq Anwar from Katihar. The RJD will contest the remaining 27 seats in Bihar.

Congress leaders were confident of arriving at some pre-poll agreement with the DMK in Tamil Nadu.

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