Kishor not to have any role in Congress ticket distribution: Amarinder

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Chandigarh, Apr 13 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday dismissed speculations that his principal advisor Prashant Kishor may have some role in the finalisation of Congress tickets for the 2022 assembly elections.

Singh was reacting to media reports over alleged resentment brewing in the Punjab Congress over Kishor’s likely say in the distribution of the party tickets ahead of the next assembly elections.

“There is no question of it. Kishor has no say in the matter,” the chief minister said in an official statement.

Kishor’s role is limited and is only advisory in nature, he added.

The CM had announced last month that Kishor had joined him as his principal advisor.

There are set norms and patterns for ticket allocation in the Congress, which are followed in all elections in all states, the CM said, adding Punjab is no exception.

There is a state election committee set up by the high command ahead of any assembly poll, he said, adding the panel considers all the names and shortlists them.

The shortlisted names are then sent for scrutiny to the screening committee, comprising top party leadership, including the Congress president. The final decision is taken by the Central Election Committee, with no individual having any role to play, said the CM.

In the process of ticket finalisation, inputs are always taken by this committee from various internal and external parties, including independent agencies as well the state party unit, he said.

This is the process that was followed in 2017 and will be adopted again this time.

“So where does Kishor come into the picture?” he asked.

Amarinder Singh further said this system had worked well last time when the Congress party won assembly polls in Punjab.

“Why should the party want to change it and disturb the political balance that we have managed to strike so beautifully in the past four years?” he asked.

In fact, he pointed out, the Congress in Punjab has been on a strong wicket in every election in the last four years, including in the recent urban local body polls, which the party swept.

“This shows that there is no anti-incumbency at play in the state, as is being speculated by the media, which has been indulging in sheer conjectures ever since Kishor's appointment,” he said.

If the party sees any instances of local anti-incumbency, it will handle it the way it usually does – by looking at alternatives, and finding the best fit to ensure victory, said the CM, making it clear that this was an issue for the Congress, and not for Kishor, to consider and decide.

“His (Kishor's) role as my principal advisor is limited. It is only advisory in nature, with no decision-making authority vested in him,” added the CM.

Kishor had handled the Congress party’s poll campaign in Punjab in the 2017 assembly elections.

Currently, Kishor is assisting Mamata Banerjee's TMC in the West Bengal elections.

Kishor had also managed Narendra Modi’s campaign for prime ministership in the 2014 general elections. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX