Congress lags behind in naming city candidates

Congress lags behind in naming city candidates

All the eyes in Delhi may be on the Congress for its list of Lok Sabha candidates but the party seems to be in no rush to reveal its cards ahead of a triangular parliamentary election fight.

The BJP and AAP have announced seven names each for the contest.
Even if the names of the Congress candidates have not been announced, party leaders on Sunday indicated that they were already working on wooing voters.
“There is no hurry to announce the Delhi nominees,” said Chief Spokesman of Delhi Congress Mukesh Sharma.

“We are not losing anything even if the names have not been announced yet,” he said, adding that district level party workers have already been activated to connect with voters.

He said announcement of names will just be a formality and have no bearing on the performance of the Congress, which currently occupies all the seven Lok Sabha seats.
While the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party have already announced their line-ups for the April 10 election, the Congress is yet to reveal the names of its nominees.

The Congress held primaries for New Delhi and North-East Seats and sitting MPs Ajay Maken and J P Agarwal won these contests. Their nominations are almost final.
The party may reconsider renominating all the other five candidates some of whom were found to have become unpopular during an internal survey held by the Congress.

Congress leaders said to party’s traditional voters the name of a constituency’s candidate did not really matter. “We get votes for the work our governments do, individual names do not make much difference,” said a party leader.

Sources said the Congress is using the time before the filing of nominations to establish link with about 30 categories of voters who were considered its traditional vote bank in the city but deserted the party during the 2013 Assembly polls.

After Holi, district level Congress leaders will establish link with voters from people who belong to categories like slum dwellers, unauthorised colonies, construction workers, barbers and autorickshaw drivers. “Over 10 lakh individuals who belong to these 30 categories would be contacted, informed about Congress policies and convinced to back the Congress in Lok Sabha elections,” said a party leaders.

Each of these 10 lakh voters will have the ability to influence at least five other voters – including their family members – to support the Congress.

Sources said labourers working in the city’s construction sector number around two lakh. The 30 categories of voters that the Congress is eyeing to win over include domestic help, washermen, sanitation workers, vegetable vendors or workers of wholesale vegetable markets, bus drivers, conductors, truck and taxi drivers and cleaners of commercial vehicles, among others.