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Candidature to be based on winnability: Cong

By PRANJAL BHUYAN
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GUWAHATI, Jan 1 - Winnability will be the most prominent factor for the Congress during selection of candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, even as the principal opposition party is expected to field new faces from a number of parliamentary constituencies in Assam.

Sources in the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) told this newspaper that the party is keen to maintain the momentum it has gained after scoring victories in the Assembly polls to the three Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh recently. Congress is targeting to win at least 11 out of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies from Assam in the Lok Sabha elections which are likely to be held around April-May.

�The basic criterion for candidate selection will be winnability. With the general elections expected to witness a close fight between the BJP-led NDA and Congress-led UPA, our party does not want to take any chances. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, we had managed to secure only three seats from Assam. This time we are targeting to win at least 11 seats and so the party will give candidature only to those people who have a high chance of making it through the electoral battle,� a senior APCC member told The Assam Tribune.

He said that besides recommendations from the APCC, the Congress high command is also likely to conduct surveys through independent agencies and consultancies to take feedback regarding candidates.

�This time a number of new faces are likely to figure in our list of Lok Sabha candidates, comprising youths as well as veterans, but who had earlier not entered the fray. There are some constituencies like Guwahati, Barpeta, Mangaldoi, Tezpur and Lakhimpur which are, in a way, open seats for us as we do not have any prominent faces as contenders for party tickets. Those are the seats where there is high probability of fielding new and fresh faces,� said a leader.

He added that all three sitting Lok Sabha MPs of the Congress from Assam � Biren Singh Engti from Diphu, Sushmita Dev from Silchar and Gourav Gogoi from Kaliabor � are sure to be re-nominated.

Meanwhile, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge for Assam and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat will hold a detailed review here on January 3-4 regarding the party�s performance in the recent panchayat polls in the State.

�Rawat will meet all the district and block Congress committee presidents individually during his visit. He will also discuss strategies for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls with our local leaders,� said a party leader.

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Candidature to be based on winnability: Cong

GUWAHATI, Jan 1 - Winnability will be the most prominent factor for the Congress during selection of candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, even as the principal opposition party is expected to field new faces from a number of parliamentary constituencies in Assam.

Sources in the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) told this newspaper that the party is keen to maintain the momentum it has gained after scoring victories in the Assembly polls to the three Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh recently. Congress is targeting to win at least 11 out of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies from Assam in the Lok Sabha elections which are likely to be held around April-May.

�The basic criterion for candidate selection will be winnability. With the general elections expected to witness a close fight between the BJP-led NDA and Congress-led UPA, our party does not want to take any chances. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, we had managed to secure only three seats from Assam. This time we are targeting to win at least 11 seats and so the party will give candidature only to those people who have a high chance of making it through the electoral battle,� a senior APCC member told The Assam Tribune.

He said that besides recommendations from the APCC, the Congress high command is also likely to conduct surveys through independent agencies and consultancies to take feedback regarding candidates.

�This time a number of new faces are likely to figure in our list of Lok Sabha candidates, comprising youths as well as veterans, but who had earlier not entered the fray. There are some constituencies like Guwahati, Barpeta, Mangaldoi, Tezpur and Lakhimpur which are, in a way, open seats for us as we do not have any prominent faces as contenders for party tickets. Those are the seats where there is high probability of fielding new and fresh faces,� said a leader.

He added that all three sitting Lok Sabha MPs of the Congress from Assam � Biren Singh Engti from Diphu, Sushmita Dev from Silchar and Gourav Gogoi from Kaliabor � are sure to be re-nominated.

Meanwhile, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge for Assam and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat will hold a detailed review here on January 3-4 regarding the party�s performance in the recent panchayat polls in the State.

�Rawat will meet all the district and block Congress committee presidents individually during his visit. He will also discuss strategies for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls with our local leaders,� said a party leader.

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