NEW DELHI: After the debacle in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, the Congress in Delhi has started early preparations for the Assembly elections scheduled next year. In meeting on Tuesday with district and block presidents, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Sheila Dikshit asked them to submit a list of three names, including that of a woman, for all 70 Assembly seats.
Delhi Congress working presidents Haroon Yusuf and Rajesh Lilothia, and spokespersons Ramakant Goswami and Jitender Kumar Kochar were present at the meeting chaired by Dikshit. “It was decided in the meeting that the district and block Congress committee presidents should suggest the names of the three candidates from their Assembly seats by June 22, which should be submitted to the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee office,” Kochar said.
Last month, Dikshit had set a five-member panel to look into causes of the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. It was Dikshit who had decided to contest alone in the general election despite several overtures from the AAP for an alliance in the national capital.
The poll results were a disaster for both the parties as they again drew a blank with the BJP winning all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi. Although Congress failed to win any seat, party candidates pushed the AAP on third place on five of the seven parliamentary constituencies.
A senior Delhi Congress, privy to the development, had said that state leaders, who appeared before the panel, cited that delayed announcement of candidature was one of main reasons for its dismal performance.
“Dikshit wants the finalisation of the Congress candidates for the Assembly elections as early as possible. Therefore, this meeting was held. All the office bearers of district and block Congress Committee presidents, who attended the meeting, thanked Dikshit for taking this decision giving them an opportunity to participate in the selection of party candidates,” said a party leader.