The Rajasthan Congress screening committee is all set to meet on March 22, to submit the list of probable candidates for Lok Sabha elections to the Central Election Committee (CEC), headed by AICC president Rahul Gandhi.
According to party insiders, the CEC has so far submitted names to 18 seats while decision is pending on the remaining seven seats. In a few seats, the party is facing difficulty.
"In constituencies like Barmer and others, the party is yet to shortlist a candidate. Both Manvendra Singh and sitting MLA Harish Choudhry want to contest from the same seat," a senior Congress leader told DH.
While the party may introduce new faces from 8 to 10 Lok Sabha seats, a few leaders may be repeated for the second time such as Jitendra Singh (Alwar), Namo Narain Meena (Tonk-Sawai Madhopur), Jyoti Mirdha (Nagaur), Raghuveer Meena (Udaipur), CP Joshi and Harish Choudhary. However, the number of women candidates could be cut down to three or four, compared to six last time.
The Congress has ensured the participation of youth leaders by assigning targets to party front organisations, such as the Youth Congress and the NSUI. According to party sources, so far, the Rajasthan Youth Congress has been asked to focus on 10 Lok Sabha seats while the NSUI has been given a seat from each of the seven administrative divisions. The latter has been directed to target 50 lakh new voters, especially first-time voters.
Rajasthan will go to polls in two phases. In the first phase on April 29, elections will be held for 13 seats. The second phase on May 6 will see elections to 12 seats. In 2014, the BJP registered a historic win by sweeping all 25 seats in Rajasthan. However, in the 2018 bypolls, the saffron party lost two seats to the Congress.