Cong may to finalise 150-200 LS poll candidates by Jan-end

Lok Sabha elections are likely to be held in April-May and the decision will give at least three months time to the candidates to prepare for the elections.

The exercise of finalising candidates will begin immediately after the AICC meeting on 17 January, a senior party functionary said.

‘The meeting of screening committees to shortlist candidates will begin soon after the AICC meeting and we will be deciding candidates for much more than 100 Lok Sabha seats by the end of January,’ the AICC functionary closely associated with the exercise said.

The AK Antony panel entrusted with the task of drawing up an action plan for the party for assembly and Lok Sabha a elections few years ago had recommended that the candidates for the elections should be declared at least a few months ahead of the polls.

Efforts to implement the recommendation were made many times, including in the recent assembly election in Madhya Pradesh. However, it could not be done owing to intense rivalry over ticket distribution in the party as well as some apprehension that this could lead to rebel candidates putting up their candidature and getting time to prepare for elections.

Sources said Gandhi is, however, keen that candidates are given sufficient time to prepare for Lok Sabha elections.

One of the reasons for the defeat of the party in Madhya Pradesh elections this time has also been attributed to quite late declaration of candidates.

COng: No need of PR agency for Rahul’s image makeover’

New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday denied reports that it has roped in Japanese advertising and communication firms to brush up the public image of Rahul Gandhi before Lok Sabha polls, saying the party vice president does not require any PR agency for his image makeover. ‘Rahul Gandhi does not require any advertising agency for his image makeover. Congress functions with the strength of its ideology and that of its crores of ordinary workers,’ Randeep Surjewala said.
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