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Cong facing problem of plenty!

By PRANJAL BHUYAN
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GUWAHATI, March 5 - In the backdrop of a large number of applicants seeking party candidature to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls seems to have posed a problem for the Opposition Congress in the State.

Sources said that this has compelled the State Election Committee of the party to refrain from announcing the panel comprising the shortlisted names for the Dhubri and Barpeta constituencies.

�The panels comprising names of candidates shortlisted for the Dhubri and Barpeta seats were not prepared due to the sizeable number of applications received for both the constituencies. We are confident of winning both the seats in the Lok Sabha elections this time and so the committee wanted to take no chances. No discussion was held to shortlist the names of probable candidates for these two constituencies. Instead, the State Election Committee has authorised the senior leadership to finalise the panels for both the seats,� an office-bearer of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) told this newspaper.

APCC president Ripun Bora, former chief ministers Tarun Gogoi and Bhumidhar Barman and the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Debabrata Saikia will take a decision with regard to selection of the panels for both the constituencies.

It is noteworthy that a total of 134 persons have applied for candidature from the Congress party in Assam to contest the ensuing parliamentary election. The highest number of applications received was for the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat (33 applications), followed by Dhubri constituency (25).

Meanwhile, panels of shortlisted names of probable candidates of the Congress party have been finalised for the other 12 Lok Sabha seats of Assam. However, there is still some uncertainty regarding Guwahati, Mangaldai and Tezpur constituencies.

Party sources said that former APCC president and Rajya Sabha member Bhubaneswar Kalita has been requested by the State Election Committee of the party to contest the forthcoming polls from either Guwahati or Mangaldai.

�Kalita has been requested to consider the matter seriously. However, he seems reluctant. Besides, Kalita has more than a year of his term in the Rajya Sabha still left,� informed an APCC leader.

Sources added that APCC president Ripun Bora has been authorised to take a decision with regard to the names shortlisted for the Tezpur seat.

�This was done because Tezpur Lok Sabha seat is Bora�s home constituency. But he will definitely consult senior leaders like Gogoi, Barman and Saikia,� added the party leader.

He further said, �only a single application each was received for both Kaliabor and Silchar constituencies. Sitting MPs Gaurav Gogoi of Kaliabor and Sushmita Deb of Silchar were the only applicants from their respective constituencies and both are sure to get party ticket once again. The panels consisting of the shortlisted names for the other seven seats � Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Diphu, Karimganj, Lakhimpur and Kokrajhar � have also been finalised and will soon be forwarded to the AICC�s screening committee.�

The AICC screening committee for Assam is likely to meet later this week in New Delhi for selection of the party�s nominees for the parliamentary polls. The final list of Congress candidates for the Lok Sabha election is expected to be announced next week.

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Cong facing problem of plenty!

GUWAHATI, March 5 - In the backdrop of a large number of applicants seeking party candidature to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls seems to have posed a problem for the Opposition Congress in the State.

Sources said that this has compelled the State Election Committee of the party to refrain from announcing the panel comprising the shortlisted names for the Dhubri and Barpeta constituencies.

�The panels comprising names of candidates shortlisted for the Dhubri and Barpeta seats were not prepared due to the sizeable number of applications received for both the constituencies. We are confident of winning both the seats in the Lok Sabha elections this time and so the committee wanted to take no chances. No discussion was held to shortlist the names of probable candidates for these two constituencies. Instead, the State Election Committee has authorised the senior leadership to finalise the panels for both the seats,� an office-bearer of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) told this newspaper.

APCC president Ripun Bora, former chief ministers Tarun Gogoi and Bhumidhar Barman and the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Debabrata Saikia will take a decision with regard to selection of the panels for both the constituencies.

It is noteworthy that a total of 134 persons have applied for candidature from the Congress party in Assam to contest the ensuing parliamentary election. The highest number of applications received was for the Barpeta Lok Sabha seat (33 applications), followed by Dhubri constituency (25).

Meanwhile, panels of shortlisted names of probable candidates of the Congress party have been finalised for the other 12 Lok Sabha seats of Assam. However, there is still some uncertainty regarding Guwahati, Mangaldai and Tezpur constituencies.

Party sources said that former APCC president and Rajya Sabha member Bhubaneswar Kalita has been requested by the State Election Committee of the party to contest the forthcoming polls from either Guwahati or Mangaldai.

�Kalita has been requested to consider the matter seriously. However, he seems reluctant. Besides, Kalita has more than a year of his term in the Rajya Sabha still left,� informed an APCC leader.

Sources added that APCC president Ripun Bora has been authorised to take a decision with regard to the names shortlisted for the Tezpur seat.

�This was done because Tezpur Lok Sabha seat is Bora�s home constituency. But he will definitely consult senior leaders like Gogoi, Barman and Saikia,� added the party leader.

He further said, �only a single application each was received for both Kaliabor and Silchar constituencies. Sitting MPs Gaurav Gogoi of Kaliabor and Sushmita Deb of Silchar were the only applicants from their respective constituencies and both are sure to get party ticket once again. The panels consisting of the shortlisted names for the other seven seats � Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Diphu, Karimganj, Lakhimpur and Kokrajhar � have also been finalised and will soon be forwarded to the AICC�s screening committee.�

The AICC screening committee for Assam is likely to meet later this week in New Delhi for selection of the party�s nominees for the parliamentary polls. The final list of Congress candidates for the Lok Sabha election is expected to be announced next week.