Cong candidates for 2014 polls to be decided at block level: Tytler

Bhubaneswar: Four days after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi asked the MPs of tribal-dominated Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand to design road map to regain tribal support base, AICC Odisha in-charge Jagdish Tytler here on Monday said that candidates for 2014 polls will be decided by panchayat, block and district-level leaders and not by any top leaders.

While the March 14 Delhi deliberation was clear about Congress poll strategy to reach grassroots-level workers, the same was too evident from Tytlers’s Monday visit.

“This time Rahulji is very clear that the tickets will not be decided by any senior leaders, but will be decided at panchayat, zilla parishad, block and the district levels,” Tytler said.

The senior Congress leader after arriving in Bhubaneswar said he will discuss the candidate selection process with MPs and senior leaders of the party only after carrying out discussions with grassroots-level leaders.

“I am here to do the exercise for districts this time. In my next trip I’ll start with the block level. Once it’s completed, I will go to zilla parishad. Later, I will discuss with the MPs and the senior leaders over selection of candidates,” added Tytler.

The Congress heir apparent during his interaction with party MPs is learnt to have asked the leaders to reach out various groups of tribals.

Keen to widen the Congress base among tribals, Gandhi wanted the Congress leaders in Jharkhand and Odisha to chalk out an interaction programme with different sections of the tribals and asked them to take measures for a deeper connect with them.

“Congress candidates for 2014 polls to be decided by October”, says Tytler.

Meanwhile, both Tylter and PCC President Niranjan Patnaik have denied the reports of new chief for Odisha Congress unit.