With the State Election Commission (SEC) announcing urban body polls on September 19, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) on Monday said the party’s candidates will be finalised before August 20, the day of filing of nomination papers.
Party observers, who include MPs, MLAs and senior leaders, have been despatched to all the 29 districts where the ULB polls will be held to expedite the process of selection of candidates, OPCC president Jaydev Jena said. The District Congress Committees (DCCs) have already started the selection process.
The DCC presidents have been asked to submit the list of candidates to the OPCC by August 15. The DCCs will submit three names for wards where there are more than one aspirant, Jena said and added that only one name will be submitted where there is unanimity.
The OPCC president, who was confident of a good show by the party in the ULB polls, said the party will start issuing tickets from August 20. Filing of nominations will start from August 20 and continue till August 24.
In the 2008 ULB polls, the BJD got 33 per cent of votes while the Congress had received 27 per cent votes. This time, people are angry with the BJD for the deteriorating law and order situation which will be one of the major issues of the Congress, Jena said.
Besides, opposition by the BJD to the Food Security Bill, irregularities in the distribution of BPL rice for which the Congress had launched the FIR campaign and inability of the State Government to spend Central funds under different urban schemes will be the other issues for the party.