Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday welcomed the announcement of elections to Assemblies in five States and declared that the organisation was ready to take on any challenge from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Senior leader M. Veerappa Moily said among other things, the party would focus on the issues of ineffective governance, corruption and law and order problems in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where the BJP was in power.

He said as for Delhi, where the Congress was in power for the last 10 years, the situation was much better than it appeared a few months ago. He expressed confidence that the party would return to power. The party was happy with the performance of the Shiela Dikshit government.

Mr. Moily also said the Congress was already in an election mode and in the midst of selecting its candidates for the November-December polls. The Congress leader who heads the Central screening panel for Madhya Pradesh, said his Committee would meet on October 16.

There are indications that the Central Election Committee could meet on October 17 and take up the task of finalising candidates for Rajasthan, a State where the Central Screening Committee has already gone through the process of short-listing names. Reacting to the BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s comment on EC not announcing dates for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly election, Mr. Moily accused the opposition leader of politicising the issue and attributing motives to the decision.