Elections 2019: Parties begin spadework to zero in on candidates

Bhubaneswar: With the 2019 elections just a few days away, three major political parties in the State are scrambling to finalise party candidates for the ensuing polls. While Congress stated that it has prepared a tentative list of party candidates for 21 Lok Sabha and 147 Assembly constituencies, BJP said it has completed discussions with party leaders at the district and constituency-levels. Sources said the saffron party has finalised a list of candidates for 100 Assembly and 18 Lok Sabha constituencies.

The Congress Pradesh Poll Committee will hold a meeting on March 6 and discuss the list prepared by the AICC Screening Committee and thereafter, the list will be sent to the Central Poll Committee for approval.

“We have prepared a list of ticket aspirants which will be discussed at the PCC election committee meeting on March 6. Hopefully, a list of candidates will be announced before March 10,” said VD Satheesan, chairman of the Odisha Congress Screening Committee.

“We need young and new faces as party candidates for the upcoming polls. Apart from this, women will be given priority. Winability is the criteria for aspirants to get a party ticket,” said Niranjan Patnaik, PCC chief.

Meanwhile, Odisha BJP vice president Samir Mohanty said discussion has been held at the district level and constituency level for preparing the list of ticket aspirants. “Those, who are strengthening party organisation, will be given preference,” Mohanty added.

On the other hand, BJD seems to be in a dilemma in some constituencies where there is a long list of ticket aspirants. Besides, the anti-incumbency factor is also being taken into consideration by the party while selecting candidates, said sources.

BJD spokesperson Sameer Das said although there are many ticket aspirants, decision of the party chief is final.