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Cong to finalise poll list on March 12

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, March 10 � The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the AICC is likely to meet on March 12 to finalise the Party�s list of candidates, even as a meeting of the screening committee got under way today to shortlist the candidates.

Amidst hectic lobbying for party tickets, the screening committee met under the chairmanship of Union Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad. The meeting was also attended by Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, PCC president, Bhubaneswar Kalita, general secretary in-charge Digvijay Singh, Oscar Fernandes among others.

In a last minute development, the Congress Party�s MPs were also asked to join the meeting held at the AICC headquarters. The MPs were called to give their input about prospects of candidates short listed by the Pradesh Election Committee.

Sources clarified that the majority of the candidates were likely to be finalised at the screening committee meeting and only the disputed cases were likely to be referred to the CEC for finalisation.

The screening committee is expected to meet on Friday as well, to finalise the candidates for all the 126 Assembly constituencies. �

Bhubaneswar Kalita told this newspaper that today�s meeting was likely to be preliminary in nature and inputs from all sides would be taken before a final call is taken on Friday.

The Congress Party, meanwhile, is likely to open dialogue with Trinamool Congress, requesting them not to put up candidates in Assam without consulting its leading alliance partner. The ruling Congress is wary of further division within Bengali Hindu votes. The Trinamool Congress has been making loud noise declaring its intention to field 75 candidates.

In a bid to neutralise the BJP�s support base among the Bengali community, the Chief Minister has been talking of granting refugee status to the Hindu Bangladeshi, who were victims of the religious persecution and had fled the neighbouring country. �

AICC sources said that Congress is likely to press its case hard with Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee not to field candidates to hit Congress prospects. As UPA alliance partners, Trinamool Congress is expected to consult the Congress Party first before announcing the list of candidates, said sources.

The State PCC leaders are also confused over the stand on alliance with Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF). Though the Party has announced its decision to go alone, the Chief Minister has been talking of leaving certain number of seats in Bodoland areas for its alliance partners.

Though the issue did not figure in the Election Committee meeting, it is expected to be raised at the screening committee and CEC meeting, said sources.

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Cong to finalise poll list on March 12

NEW DELHI, March 10 � The Central Election Committee (CEC) of the AICC is likely to meet on March 12 to finalise the Party�s list of candidates, even as a meeting of the screening committee got under way today to shortlist the candidates.

Amidst hectic lobbying for party tickets, the screening committee met under the chairmanship of Union Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad. The meeting was also attended by Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, PCC president, Bhubaneswar Kalita, general secretary in-charge Digvijay Singh, Oscar Fernandes among others.

In a last minute development, the Congress Party�s MPs were also asked to join the meeting held at the AICC headquarters. The MPs were called to give their input about prospects of candidates short listed by the Pradesh Election Committee.

Sources clarified that the majority of the candidates were likely to be finalised at the screening committee meeting and only the disputed cases were likely to be referred to the CEC for finalisation.

The screening committee is expected to meet on Friday as well, to finalise the candidates for all the 126 Assembly constituencies. �

Bhubaneswar Kalita told this newspaper that today�s meeting was likely to be preliminary in nature and inputs from all sides would be taken before a final call is taken on Friday.

The Congress Party, meanwhile, is likely to open dialogue with Trinamool Congress, requesting them not to put up candidates in Assam without consulting its leading alliance partner. The ruling Congress is wary of further division within Bengali Hindu votes. The Trinamool Congress has been making loud noise declaring its intention to field 75 candidates.

In a bid to neutralise the BJP�s support base among the Bengali community, the Chief Minister has been talking of granting refugee status to the Hindu Bangladeshi, who were victims of the religious persecution and had fled the neighbouring country. �

AICC sources said that Congress is likely to press its case hard with Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee not to field candidates to hit Congress prospects. As UPA alliance partners, Trinamool Congress is expected to consult the Congress Party first before announcing the list of candidates, said sources.

The State PCC leaders are also confused over the stand on alliance with Bodoland Peoples Front (BPF). Though the Party has announced its decision to go alone, the Chief Minister has been talking of leaving certain number of seats in Bodoland areas for its alliance partners.

Though the issue did not figure in the Election Committee meeting, it is expected to be raised at the screening committee and CEC meeting, said sources.