The Congress is likely to finalise its candidates on Friday for the 18 seats going to polls in the first phase of the Chhattisgarh Assembly elections on November 12. The BJP is also set to announce its candidates next week, with the last date of filing of nomination on October 23.
The senior leadership of the state Congress has been in Delhi for the last two days, with the screening committee holding meetings on candidate selection. Eighteen of the 90 Assembly seats will go to polls on November 12, including constituencies in the left wing extremism-affected Bastar range and Rajnandgaon district. The second phase of polling is on November 20.
The AICC Thursday also announced a Core Committee of the Pradesh Congress Committee, which includes AICC General Secretary in-charge of Chhattisgarh PL Punia, Bhupesh Baghel, T S Singhdeo, Charan Das Mahant, Arvind Netam, Kamla Mahar and Tamradhwaj Sahu.
The move is being seen as an effort to strengthen collective leadership with the Congress being hit by allegations of infighting over the last month, with purported CDs of senior leaders undercutting each other doing the rounds.
While some in Chhattisgarh are also reading this as an effort to cut to size state president Bhupesh Baghel, party’s chief spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said the Congress was as united as ever. “Even when working presidents were announced, these allegations did the rounds, but with time people realised there was no truth to them,” he said.
The party’s social media wing on Thursday launched a video, called “Raman Singh ka Ulta Chashma”, which is set to be a bedrock of the Congress campaign across platforms, especially WhatsApp.