The Telegraph
Monday , June 2 , 2014
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Cong mulls stern action
Losers may be denied Assembly tickets

Ranchi, June 1: Congress candidates from Jharkhand, who lost in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, may not be allowed to contest the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Although the state party leadership is yet to finalise such a move, it has, however, become a focal point of discussion within the party, currently engaged in a series of meetings to ascribe reason to its humiliating defeat in the parliamentary elections.

Insiders said the issue was briefly discussed during a close-door meeting of Congress general secretary in charge of Jharkhand B.K. Hariprasad, former Union minister Jairam Ramesh, state unit chief Sukhdeo Bhagat and others in Ranchi yesterday.

“We need to ascertain the reasons behind our defeat and then try to plug loopholes if we have to revive our prospects in Jharkhand. Whether established faces of the party who lost the Lok Sabha elections could be a safe bet in the Assembly polls is a point under consideration,” a senior leader said, admitting that such a move was likely to attract extreme reactions.

State Congress chief Bhagat, however, played safe.

“Many proposals are mooted during meetings. All such matters will be discussed thoroughly during the party’s Chintan shivir expected to be held in the middle of June. My only plan is to strengthen the organisation, promote youth and inject fresh blood into the party. It is time to give second line leaders a chance in elections,” he said, indicating some truth in the speculations.

Party leaders pointed out that in 2009, those who had lost the Lok Sabha elections also failed in the Assembly elections. Furkan Ansari had lost the Godda seat to BJP’s Nishikant Dubey by a narrow margin in the 2009 general polls. Subsequently, he contested the Assembly polls, held soon after, from Godda, and lost.