By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India], October 5 (ANI): The central election committee (CEC) of the Congress will hold a meeting on Monday evening at the residence of interim party president Sonia Gandhi, here to finalise candidates for the first phase of Bihar Assembly polls.
This comes after the party's Screening Committee had a detailed meeting at Congress war room in Delhi.
"We discussed the list of probable candidates at 70 Assembly seats in Bihar. The list of candidates recommended by state Congress leaders will be presented in Congress Central Election Committee meeting today," Avinash Pande, Chairman of Congress Screening Committee for Bihar Assembly polls told ANI after the meeting.
According to sources, Congress Party has cleared the names of all sitting MLAs whose constituency is going for polls in the first phase, where the last date of nomination is October 8. "The party is unlikely to announce candidates soon after the CEC meet as poll strategy," they said.
The opposition Grand Alliance(Mahagathbandhan) in Bihar announced a seat-sharing formula for the upcoming assembly polls under which the Congress will contest 70 of a total 243 seats. It is for the first time party is fighting polls on 70 seats. In last Assembly polls, the party fought only on 41 seats out of which 27 candidates won the elections but soon after JDU quit the alliance, one section of the MLAs quit the party and later joined JDU.
This time, the party is willing to repeat all MLAs who are intact with the party, CLP leader and 9 times MLA Sadanand Singh have been given free hand or free to give the name of the candidate to replace him, a source said.
This Bihar Assembly poll is considered as the big challenge for both the alliance in Bihar.
In NDA alliance, the Lok Janshakti Party(LJP) will not contest seats where BJP will be contesting, however, it will fight against Janata Dal (United). Both JDU and LJP are in a pre-poll alliance with the BJP.
Kushwaha's RLSP has quit Mahagathbandhan and forged an alliance with BSP. Hindustan Avam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi has joined NDA. The huge set back has been given by Mukesh Sahni from Vikasheel Insan Party (VIP) who announced his disassociation from Mahagathbandhan in a live Press Conference in Patna on Sunday. Congress, CPI, CPM are now part of this alliance under the leadership of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Congress leader Avinash Pandey has already made the announcement about Tejashwi Yadav being the face of the alliance which is seeking to oust the ruling NDA from power in the state.
"The alliance is led by RJD and its leader Tejashwi Yadav will lead us. We want Bihar to prosper under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav," he said.
Bihar with 243 assembly seats will go to polls in three phases: October 28, November 3 and November 7. The results will be declared on November 10. (ANI)
By Siddharth Sharma