Kerala

Cong. designing new template for candidate selection

The Congress party is reportedly striving to set a "new template" for selecting candidates for the Assembly elections. Traditionally, the party had "blindly" apportioned seats to powerful party factions in the State.

The groups often wrestled with each other and the national leadership to place a higher number of their respective loyalists on the party ticket with an eye to control the Congress Legislative Party (CLP).

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) reportedly wants to break this custom. It believes that the old habit had cost the Congress dearly in the previous Assembly elections and the recent local body polls.

The party has contracted professional pollsters to evaluate the chances of victory of potential candidates based on the demographic structure and voting behaviour of respective constituencies.

Leaders summoned

The AICC has summoned Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to New Delhi for consultations on Monday.

The increasingly strident demand in the Congress for a convincing generational shift in candidate selection could figure prominently in the talks. Higher representation for youth and women, more candidates from marginalised sections, fielding popular personalities as Congress-backed independents are also reportedly on the cards.

Notably, the party wants to prevent the Left Democratic Front (LDF) from highlighting its pacts with various Muslim organisations as a propaganda tool against the United Democratic Front (UDF). The LDF had raised the bogey of an "alliance" with Jamaat-e-Islami to draw Hindu and Christian votes away from the UDF in the local body polls.

The AICC is sending high profile functionaries this month to build bridges with social organisations and community leaders to pre-empt such a move. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is likely to lead the pack.

Door-to-door campaign

Spadework for the Assembly polls also seemed to have gathered pace. The party is reportedly in the penultimate phase of putting together 19,500 ward level election committees in the State to pilot the door-to-door election campaign that commences on January 26.

It had deputed three AICC secretaries to guide the process. Each booth committee hopes to marshall at least 50 full-time party workers for grassroots level election work.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 5:42:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cong-designing-new-template-for-candidate-selection/article33593938.ece

Next Story