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Cong meet to finalise RS nominees deferred

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Jan 24 � The crucial meeting convened to finalise the Rajya Sabha candidates in Assam has been postponed and a final call is now expected to be taken by the AICC in consultation with Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and PCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita.

AICC general secretary Dr CP Joshi and secretary Avinash Pandey have held at least two rounds of meetings since yesterday to finalise the candidates, even as the Congress party is waiting and watching the Opposition parties� move in the State.

Sources said that the Chief Minister, who was called to Delhi for Saturday�s meeting, was told this afternoon by general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi�s office about the postponement.

The PCC president, who was in the capital, told this newspaper that the meeting has been cancelled in view of the engagement of the Chief Minister on January 26. There are two options now, either the Chief Minister would be called again for a meeting on January 27 or consultations would take place over telephone, he added.

With January 28 being the last date of filing nomination, there is a strong possibility of AICC finalising candidates over telephone, sources said.

Meanwhile, Kalita said a final decision on fielding candidates for three seats has not been taken. �We are in consultation with some parties in Assam for support. In case, the Opposition doesn�t field any candidate, it would be a smooth sailing. For the third seat, Congress has 12 spare votes, while BPF has 12 votes. With the votes of associate members and few others, we will wrest all the three,� he claimed.

However, a senior AICC leader disclosed that difference has arisen over giving away the second seat to BPF. While AICC wants to nominate the BPF candidate Biswajit Daimary for the third seat, the Chief Minister is reportedly insisting that the second seat be given to the Bodo party, while a Congressman may be nominated for the third seat.

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