congress: Cong’s first list of UP candidates may be out next week | India News

congress: Cong’s first list of UP candidates may be out next week | India News

NEW DELHI: In a move that can be interpreted in multiple ways, Congress is likely to announce its first batch of candidates for the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh next week, more than two months before the polls are to be announced.
Well-placed sources said AICC’s election committee will meet early next week — possibly Tuesday or Wednesday — to finalise around 45-50 candidates, whose names would subsequently be announced. Elections in UP are likely to begin in February, along with Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur.
For a party known for its much-criticised delay in selection of candidates, this new-found urgency in UP is surprising even to Congress insiders. A party manager said the idea is to clear the names in “strong” seats so that the candidates get time to win over voters. He said the seats likely to be discussed and finalised in the first instalment are the ones that, according to party feedback, are viewed as “strong” turfs despite years of Congress’s marginalisation in the state.
The initiative by Congress comes in the backdrop of the aggression shown by party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi in the wake of the Lakhimpur Kheri farmers’ massacre. Having managed to generate enthusiasm among workers and having forced BJP on the back foot, it is likely to be viewed as an attempt by the party to use its new-found recall value to position itself as a serious player in the elections. At the CWC meeting on Saturday, Priyanka raised the issue of early declaration of candidates in UP, adding that it will also help stop leaders from leaving.
Many are also likely to see it as Congress’ attempt to push like-minded parties by showing a strong intent to tap voters. Any improved showing by Congress may come at the cost of other anti-BJP parties like Samajwadi Party. It could be seen as a proactive Congress strategy to nudge them into an alliance or into an understanding that they till now have been averse to.

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