Punjab Congress chief and former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh is facing a 2012-like situation when the dissidents contesting elections against party nominees paved the way for the victory of the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal.
The situation is likely to become worse this time as 1,661 people have applied for the tickets as compared to 1,437 in 2012 when the party had just won 46 seats out of 117.
Singh had then failed to ensure the victory of his own son Raninder Singh. The Congress has already lost two successive Assembly elections held in 2007 and 2012.
In order to deal with the 2012-like situation, the party has asked all the candidates to submit an affidavit that they will not contest elections against the party nominee if they are denied a ticket, but this may not stop the dissidents from backstabbing.
The former chief minister has asked all the 1,661 applicants for 117 Assembly seats to work as a team to ensure the victory of the party in the ensuing elections.
"The overwhelming response from applicants for the Congress ticket indicates which way the wind is blowing", he said, while expressing confidence about the party forming the government in 2017. The process of application submission is already over.
Singh has said the overwhelming response from the ticket aspirants is indicative of a strong and robust mood among the cadres over an imminent victory at the elections.
"As there are only 117 slots, there will be 1,544 others who will not get the party nomination, but I assure all of them that once the government is formed there will be umpteen options for all and they will all be suitably accommodated," he said, adding that all of them should work towards the victory of the candidate who gets party nomination.
The party will allot about 35 tickets to the youth as there has been an overwhelming response from the younger generation and most of them well-qualified graduates and post graduates.
"While exact figures have not been worked out yet, initial perusal suggested that the number of youth applicants is quite substantial and may be around 30 to 35 percent. A large number of women candidates have also applied for the tickets," said Singh.
|Captain Amarinder Singh with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. (PTI)|
He said the applications will be screened for various mandatory formalities. After screening, the credentials of each and every applicant will be verified, which will then be followed by his performance and assessment at the ground level.
"Details and claims will be thoroughly cross-checked before processing it further," he added.
While reiterating that winnability will be the sole criterion for selecting the candidates, the former chief minister said assessments will be made at multiple levels and through multiple channels.
The party has adopted a scientifically fool-proof method to ensure that the best candidate gets nominated.
The Congress chief clarified that those who fail to find a place in the final list will be equal stakeholders in the government formation.
"For the party, they are as important as the candidate getting the nomination, as they will be the campaign drivers," he said, while adding, their performance during the elections will qualify them for the respective positions in the government later.
He clarified that the MLAs who are contesting elections will not be appointed to any boards, corporations or trusts as chairmen.
He said these positions will be reserved only for those who do not get tickets and who ensure the victory of a party candidate from a particular constituency.
Only those applicants will be eligible for chairmanships from whose constituencies the party candidates get elected, he clarified.
(Courtesy of Mail Today.)