The Telegraph
Thursday , November 22 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Congress finalises poll candidates
- Decision deferred for 14 constituencies

Shillong, Nov. 21: Meghalaya Congress’s state election committee today ended months of procrastination by declaring that there had been a “consensus” regarding candidates in 46 out of the 60 constituencies for the February-March 2013 Assembly polls.

Presence of several ticket aspirants for the same spot had been creating problems for the party in all 60 constituencies.

The party, however, is yet to decide on the fate of the aspirants in the remaining 14 constituencies.

Making the announcement after the committee meeting, chief minister Mukul Sangma said a detailed scrutiny of the potential candidates who had applied for party tickets was carried out today. “During the scrutiny, we emphasised the winnability factor, besides various other aspects,” Sangma told reporters today.

He said the consensus to shortlist a single candidate for each of the 46 constituencies was indicative of the “cordial” manner in which the whole process was carried out.

At the same time, he said the decision on six constituencies was kept in abeyance, while a panel of two members had been constituted to decide on the remaining eight constituencies to recommend potential candidates.

The names would be then sent to the central screening committee led by AICC general secretary in-charge, Meghalaya, Dhaniram Shandil.

“After scrutinising the details of the potential candidates, the screening committee will submit a list of candidates for the 60 Assembly constituencies to the party high command. The announcement of the candidates would be made only after AICC president Sonia Gandhi approves the list,” Sangma said.

He, however, brushed aside speculation of a “revolt” by aspirants who would be denied party tickets.

Women candidates

Shandil said this time the party was committed to fielding more women candidates. “Being a matrilineal society, I know the people of the state would like to see more women contesting. I can only assure that they will not be disappointed after the final list of candidates is announced.”

When pointed out that the winnability factor was being applied in a stringent way in constituencies where there were women aspirants, Shandil said the party did not discriminate between aspirants. “We treat all the party ticket aspirants in the same manner.”

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