Rajasthan polls: Cong banking on women, youth to beat BJP

Rajasthan polls: Cong banking on women, youth to beat BJP

Courtesy : Jaipur Bureau17/09/2018 20:51

Party to field women, youth in seats it has lost thrice in the previous elections

New Delhi: Gearing up for the upcoming Rajasthan elections, the Congress is leaving nothing to chance and is working out on the possibilities to increase its seat share in the western state. In the latest move, the party is planning to field women and youth in the seats it has lost twice or thrice in a row.

“The party this time is considering fielding women and youth candidates in seats that we have lost twice or thrice in a row,” a senior Congress leader involved in finalising candidate lists said on condition of anonymity.

Congress candidates lost twice in a row in about 65 Assembly constituencies in the 2008 and 2013 elections. Though, the party won 96 seats in 2008 and formed the government in Rajasthan.

If the 2003 Assembly election results are considered, the Congress lost thrice in a row in about 30 seats and the BJP is confident of winning these Assembly segments.

Some of the seats where the Congress has not won since 2003 are Ajmer North and South, Beawar, Vidhyadhar Nagar, Phulera, Sanganer, Udaipur, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand, Nagaur, Jhalarapatan, Khanpur, Bhilwara, Ramganj Mandi, Bayana, Jaisalmer, Parbatsar, Bali and Pali.

The party will field over 50 new faces, replacing those who haven’t visited their constituencies or have rarely done so, said the Congress leader, even as he emphasised the age factor will be considered to some extent but the decisive criterion remains winnability.

“Winnability is the foremost criterion in candidate selection. Then comes social engineering, and other filters will be considered after that,” he said.

“The new faces would be from among women and youth who are prominent, energetic, have a history of social work and have worked on party lines. The party’s focus this time will be on giving opportunities to communities or castes which were traditionally our vote bank but were left out and deprived of representation,” added the Congress leader.

He also mentioned that “outsiders will be denied tickets”.

The senior leader further said the screening committee chaired by Selja Kumari had discussed all the 200 Assembly seats in the state and would submit a tentative candidates’ list to Congress president Rahul Gandhi by September-end. The final list will be submitted by October 15.

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