Putting the party’s electoral machinery in motion, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday formed named Haryana leader and Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja as chairperson of screening committee for the assembly elections in Rajasthan slated later this year.
Selja will be assisted by Lalitesh Tripathi and Shakir Sanadi. Lalitesh, a former MLA, is grandson of former Uttar Pradesh chief Minister Kamalapati Tripathi. Shakir, the party leader from Karnataka, is son of former MP IG Sanadi.
This will be Selja’s second stint in Rajasthan. She had earlier been state in-charge of party affairs during the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
Gandhi also constituted screening committees for Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Mizoram. Screening committees examine recommendations of the state units for ticket allocation and give their own recommendation to the party’s central election committee, which takes the final decision.
“The screening committee has been constituted in a balanced manner, ensuring combination of both senior (Selja) and youth leaders (Lalitesh and Shakir). The party has ensured a similar composition while constituting the committees in other states,” a senior state party leader said.
By forming the screening committee, Congress has managed to stay a step ahead of the ruling BJP. “The early formation of the committee also indicates that the party would announce candidates early, providing more time for campaigning,” said a senior leader.
He further said that it can now be expected that soon the other committees such as for election campaign, coordination, planning and strategy, manifesto and disciplinary would be announced. “The appointment of four working presidents is also on cards and is expected to be announced by next month,” he added. The working presidents would be appointed based on social engineering formula.