With the BJP preparing to go all-out for the upcoming urban local body elections, the Congress too has begun preparing its line of attack.Having lost all 12 mayoral seats in the last elections and getting only a handful of corporators in Nagar Palikas and Nagar Parishads, the Congress this time has begun preparations on the lines of general elections forming teams from districts, divisions to the state level for selection of candidates and strategy planning.
The three-level committee formed at the state level includes former MLA and senior party leader Satish Ajmani, who was recently made Organisation in-charge of the party in the state, state vice-president Anusuiya Sharma and former Youth Congress President Nadeem Asharaf Jaisi. Even divisional committees having former and sitting MLAs and MPs have been formed. The party is in the process of forming district-level committees under district presidents of the party.
For the first time, the party will select candidates based on a three-level screening process. District presidents have been asked to suggest a panel of three candidates for Nagar Palika, Nagar Parishad as well as Mayor elections. The scrutiny of selection of this panel will take place under supervision of divisional committees and each district has been asked to mark the candidate who gets maximum support of party leaders and office bearers.
Sources in the party said that Congress state president Raj Babbar has already written to all district units giving directions to form these committees and identify candidates. While final selection of candidates for mayor, nagar panchayat and nagar parishad chairpersons would be done at the state-level, divisional committees comprising sitting and former MLAs have been put in charge of finalising ward-level candidates for the posts of corporators.
All districts have been asked to start the identification exercise after Diwali and submit these panels by October 25. “We have already intimated all the district units about the deadline and divisional level committees have been formed. Some of the divisional committees have already visited the districts under them. The exercise has been given a break due to Diwali, but as soon as the festival is over, all the committees would begin the process at fast pace,” Satish Ajmani told The Indian Express.
On BJP deciding to come out with a manifesto for the upcoming polls, Ajmani said, “We might not necessary come out with any manifesto, but there would certainly be promises, which would be made. However, first we are concentrating on selection of right candidates and after section of candidates, we would then focus on planning the campaign surrounding the candidate.”