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After much back and forth, the Congress has finally selected two Lok Sabha seats in Delhi for conducting primaries to select candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.
The New Delhi seat held by AICC general secretary Ajay Maken and the Northeast Delhi constituency of former DPCC president J P Agarwal have been included in the experiment.
While Maken had voluntarily offered his seat for Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s experiment, Agarwal and six other sitting MPs had to follow suit “o set an example”. This comes after the initial choice of Chandni Chowk and Northwest Delhi seats, represented by Union ministers Kapil Sibal and Krishna Tirath, respectively, led to differences of opinion in the party.
While Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of the experiment, picked Chandni Chowk and Northwest Delhi seats, the high command dropped the seats after the two Union ministers questioned the criteria adopted for selecting their seats. The party then made all seven sitting MPs offer their seats for the primaries.
Sources said the process of drawing up the voters’ list and seeking nominations for the two Delhi seats will begin by February-end.
Tomorrow, the first of the primaries will be held for the Guwahati seat after which the party will focus on six seats in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from the two seats in Delhi, the other constituencies where candidate selection will be done through the “primary” system are, Guwahati (Assam), Bhavnagar and Vadodara (Gujarat), Bangalore North and Dakshina Kannada (Karnataka), Indore and Mandsaur (Madhya Pradesh), Aurangabad and Yavatmal-Washim (Maharashtra), Bikaner and Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan), Sant Kabir Nagar and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Kolkata North (West Bengal).