Emboldened by the success of Rahul Gandhi’s padyatra, the Congress will launch an aggressive campaign for the 2012 State Assembly election. This would include organising “mahapanchayat” of farmers.
This was decided at the second meeting of the election committee of the Congress here on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by Mr. Gandhi and the All-India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of the State, Digvijay Singh.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari told reporters that the first list of the party candidates for the Assembly election was expected to be declared by the end of this month. Dr. Joshi said that names of 100 prospective candidates had been short-listed on the basis of reports of the district election committees and the padyatra panel members, as well as the party’s performance in the last Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
She said the first list would be sent to the election committee, which has been asked to submit its approval by July 20. The list of short-listed candidates would be sent to the screening committee.
Although the city and district unit presidents have been barred from contesting the polls, they can enter the fray if permitted by Mr. Gandhi, Dr. Joshi added. While a poll pact with the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party has been ruled out, Mr. Gandhi has been authorised to conclude an arrangement with smaller parties.
Mr. Gandhi attended the meeting upon his return from Kanpur, where he met the injured passengers of the Howrah-Kalka Mail that met with an accident. Hindu