The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Jogi waits, ticket bowl in hand

New Delhi, Nov. 3: Ajit Jogi and Ashok Gehlot may prove to be as lucky as Digvijay Singh in cornering most poll tickets for their supporters but not Sheila Dikshit, it appears.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Jogiís turn is next as the list of state nominees is likely to be released at the party headquarters here on Wednesday or Thursday in Jogiís presence.

The chief minister is expected to bag most of the nominations to the 90 Assembly seats for his supporters. Informed sources said the party leadership, by and large, accepted his recommendations on the choice of nominees when the central election committee took up the list for finalisation on Thursday.

The candidates for 80 seats were finalised that day. The remaining 10, over which the leadership has differences, were apparently left for finalisation by Pranab Mukherjee after he consults Jogi and senior state leaders. Mukherjee is the chief of the central screening committee for Chhattisgarh.

With the central leadership giving primacy to the chief ministerís views, Jogi, sources said, was likely to succeed in keeping his word to a dozen legislators who had defected to the Congress over a year ago. They are likely to be renominated, though sections within the state Congress have opposed it.

The state list will likely be released two days ahead of the beginning of the nomination process on November 7. Jogiís Rajasthan counterpart, Ashok Gehlot, too, may have a clear upper hand in the choice of nominees.

With a view to accommodate Gehlotís recommendations, the party leadership has virtually taken on itself the job of picking candidates for the 200 Assembly seats. Gehlot is camping here for extended consultations with central leaders on the selection, which has aroused suspicion among his detractors. With the chief minister in the thick of the selection process, party sources said large-scale dumping of sitting legislators, as demanded by Gehlotís rivals, was unlikely.

Unlike Digvijay, Jogi and Gehlot, who have managed to corner the party leadershipís sympathy for their cause, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit appears headed for rough times.

According to various poll surveys, she is the ďmost popularĒ of the four poll-bound Congress chief ministers. But Dikshit is believed to be facing a central team of leaders that is loaded against her and soft on her detractors such as Delhi Congress chief Prem Singh and veterans Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar.

Email This Page