BHUBANESWAR: After missing the deadline twice, the State Congress is likely to announce its first list of candidates by October 5. Odisha Pradesh Election Committee (OPEC) will meet on Monday to finalise candidates for at least 50 Assembly constituencies for elections next year.
The OPEC meet has been convened amidst rumour that at least two MLAs including a senior functionary of the party and another from Koraput will join the ruling BJD soon. Sources said all sitting MLAs of the Congress will be renominated as candidates from their constituencies for next elections.
The approved list of 50 candidates will be scrutinised by the screening committee of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) before the announcement. After taking over as the president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) from Prasad Harichandan, Niranjan Patnaik had announced that the first list of candidates will be announced by August 31. The deadline was shifted to September 20.
OPEC had, however, finalised guidelines for selection of candidates this time and asked ticket aspirants not to lobby. The committee had decided that more than one ticket will not be given to a family except established leaders. However, the entire exercise was delayed due to factionalism in the party.
Meanwhile, the Odisha in-charge of the party reached here on Sunday to attend the meeting of OPEC.