Rahul pushes for transparency in poll ticket distribution

Rahul Gandhi on Friday promised to decide on the party’s candidates under a ‘new process reflecting the voice of people’.

The Congress had last night constituted screening committees for all states and Union Territories for early selection of candidates. In the first meeting of the chairs of these screening committees, Gandhi on Friday underlined the importance of giving weightage to the aam aadmi in decision-making. He is learnt to have impressed upon the broad parameters of candidate selection like no criminal record.

‘For the first time ever, we’ll be able to finalise the list of candidates much before the deadline. The thinking is that we bring a process and system in the party and bring in the voice of people in the political party systematically,’ he added.

The ticket-distribution process in the Congress had traditionally been shrouded in secrecy, and complaints of nepotism and money changing hands were fairly common. Gandhi’s remarks are being seen as an acknowledgement of the lessons learnt from the drubbing received by the Congress in the assembly polls last month. ‘The AAP involved a lot of non-traditional people and we will learn from that...and will better it in a way you cannot imagine,’ he had told reporters soon after the results of the assembly elections were declared.

The exercise is also in line with the recommendation of the AK Antony panel tasked with drawing up an action plan for the party for polls. It had recommended that the candidates should be declared at least a few months ahead of the elections.

Sources say the process of selecting candidates will begin soon after the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting in Delhi on 17 January, where the party could name Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate. Lok Sabha elections are expected to be held in April-May.

‘No need for Cong to name PM candidate before polls’

New Delhi: Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Friday said that there is no need for for Congress to declare a PM candidate before elections, striking a different note from the clamour in the party to declare Rahul Gandhi its Prime Ministerial candidate as soon as possible. ‘There is no need for declaring a PM candidate before elections,’ Singh said.

He appeared advocating caution on the issue noting that in a parliamentary system it is the elected members of Parliament and Assemblies who choose their leader. Singh also said that in a parliamentary democracy, there is the prime minister and a ‘shadow’ prime minister.
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