Elections 2019: Odisha Congress begins spadework with screening of candidates

Bhubaneswar: The revamped Odisha PCC team today met to shortlist candidates ahead of releasing its first list of 50 candidates for the 2019 general polls.

The Pradesh Election Committee (PEC), comprising OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra, party’s state in-charge Jitendra Singh and others met candidates who had lost the last general elections in 2014 by a margin of less than 15,000 votes.

The closed-door interaction was held in three phases for east, north and south zones respectively. As per reports, applications of the candidates will be  reviewed before being sent to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) screening committee for final approval.

After the meeting OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik said candidates who had lost their ‘security deposit’ for performing poorly in the last elections will not be given tickets for the upcoming polls.

As per election commission guidelines, a defeated candidate loses his ‘security deposit’ if he/she fails to secure more than one sixth of the valid votes polled in the constituency.

Similarly, candidates convicted in criminal cases will be barred from the list while those framed or charged due to intolerance might be considered separately.

-Niranjan Patnaik, OPCC chief

However candidates belonging to same family having equally good public acceptance shall be considered for tickets, Patnaik clarified.

Notably, the state unit of the party had on Sunday informed that it will declare its first list of 50 candidates within a next few days.

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