Screening panel asks Cong leaders in Kerala not to rush to Delhi

The Congress party in Kerala will be contesting on 92 seats out of the 140 in the Kerala Assembly, leaving the rest to its allies, said a top Congress leader on Saturday.

Kerala goes to the polls on April 6 and the votes will be counted on May 2.

H.K. Patil, the screening committee chairman for Kerala, after their first round of meeting here told Congress aspirants in the state that there is no need for them to rush to Delhi, seeking tickets.

Speaking to the media, Patil said they have decided that close to 60 per cent of the seats will see new faces including youth and women.

“Present Congress Lok Sabha members will not be asked to contest to the assembly polls. The yardstick for selection of candidates is winnability. Those who have lost in two successive polls will not be considered. We expect to finalise and announce the list of our candidates either on March 8 or 9 and it would be done from Delhi. There is no need for aspirants to come to Delhi,” said Patil.

Over the years, during candidate selection in the Congress claims and counter claims of various factions surface and dirty linen is washed in public, but so far this time things appear to be calm.

In the outgoing assembly the Congress has 22 seats and Patil said by and large all the sitting legislators will be returning, but the final decision will be made on the 9th.

“I have met around 200 leaders here and all are confident that the Congress party will regain power and that’s what people in Kerala wish and want,” added Patil.