Amid speculation that the Congress will field Priyanka Vadra to counter Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, especially in Uttar Pradesh, sources in party revealed that there were no discussions on her contesting next year’s Lok Sabha election.

At an important meeting on Tuesday, U.P. Congress in-charge Madhusudan Mistry discussed the possible candidates for the polls. A senior leader who attended the meet said the party was close to finalising candidates.

The Congress has set up a review committee to decide if it should form a pre-poll coalition with the Bahujan Samaj Party.

However, there were no takers in the party for such a coalition, the senior leader said, adding: “There will be a review meeting of district and zonal city presidents and Madhusudan Mistry will review the work done so far.”

The party is also going to take lessons from AAP’s win in Delhi and keep out tainted candidates, he added. The party’s State election committee will soon send a report on the possible candidates and in January the observers will submit the report to the central election committee.

Reeling under the losses in four States, the Congress has over the past few weeks gone on the offensive against the Samajwadi Party, which is battling anti-incumbency in Uttar Pradesh.

“The party hopes to cash in on the Muslim votes,” one leader said.

Last week hundreds of Congress workers were taken into custody during their “Ghera dalo, Dera dalo” protest in Varanasi against “deteriorating law and order and misgovernance” by the SP government. They also protested against non-implementation of the food security scheme. The workers were later released on bail.

On January 16, the Congress will stage a dharna in Meerut regarding the SP’s policy on sugarcane farmers and Muzaffarnagar riots.

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