Although there is still a year to go for the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, the state unit of the Congress on Sunday said the party would start the exercise of identifying probable candidates from mid-January. The party said the leadership might give the opportunity to fresh and young faces over the older ones this time.
“We will start the candidate selection process for the next year’s assembly elections after January 15. The process of streamlining the organisational structure in the state would also be completed by the next month,” AICC general secretary and party in-charge of Madhya Pradesh, Deepak Babaria, told reporter here on Sunday. Madhya Pradesh assembly elections are scheduled to be held in November-December next year.
“Initially, we will focus on 60-65 seats, where the party could not win in the past two elections. We will tell the probable candidates to start preparing,” he said.
Asked about the demand of some party leaders that the candidates should be announced six months prior to the election, Babaria said, “It depends on the vulnerability of the seats. The announcement may be made two months, two weeks or two hours prior to the filing of nominations, because the opposition may also plan its strategies accordingly.”
Babaria also said that as Congress president Rahul Gandhi has indicated and which was also visible in the recently-held Gujarat elections, younger faces would be given a preference in Madhya Pradesh as well. He also said that the party would request the leaders, who had lost in the last two-three elections, to vacate the seat for the young leaders. “The leaders who were defeated in the last two-three elections would be told to leave the seat for the young leaders and work for the party. The names of such leaders would be considered for the parliamentary elections,” he said.
Responding to a query, Babaria said the party would focus on the election preparedness at the micro level in MP after learning a lesson from the Gujarat Assembly elections, in which it lost to the BJP despite putting up a good show. When asked about the announcement of the party’s chief ministerial face for the next assembly election, the AICC general secretary said the party would take a call on this at a suitable time.