Congress to hold 'primaries' for New Delhi, north-east Delhi seats

Press Trust of India
Feb 11, 2014 at 08:47pm IST

New Delhi: The New Delhi and the North East Delhi Parliamentary seats, both held by Congress leaders, figure on the list of the 16 Lok Sabha constituencies where the selection of the party's candidates will be carried out as per Rahul Gandhi's "primaries" experiment.

While AICC general secretary Ajay Maken represents the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat, former DPCC chief Jai Parkash Agrawal is the MP from North East Delhi. The Congress leadership was keen to include at least two Parliamentary seats from Delhi in the "primaries" as it felt that the exercise may be followed in other states as well if it bore the desired results here following the crushing defeat suffered by the party in the Assembly elections.

The above plan had suffered an initial hiccup when Union Minister Kapil Sibal and Krishna Tirath opposed the inclusion of their constituencies Chandni Chowk and North West Delhi on the "primaries" list. The two constituencies were later dropped but Maken had then offered his New Delhi seat for the holding of the exercise.

Congress to hold 'primaries' for New Delhi, north-east Delhi seats

All seven Congress MPs from Delhi offered their seats for "primaries" at a meeting to finalise seats on February 3.

However, subsequently, all seven Congress MPs from Delhi offered their seats for "primaries" at a meeting to finalise seats on February 3. Congress has hailed "primaries" as part of Gandhi's grand plan to give a say to party workers and office bearers in the selection of candidates.

Apart from the two seats in Delhi, the other constituencies where candidate selection will be done through the "primary" system are, Guwahati (Assam), Bhavnagar and Vadodara (Gujarat), Bangalore North and Daskshin Kanadda (Karnataka), Indore and Mandsaur (Madhya Pradesh), Aurangabad and Yavatamal-Washim (Maharashtra), Bikaner and Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan), Sant Kabir Nagar and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Kolkata North (West Bengal).

At an AICC meeting on January 17, Gandhi had spoken of his plan to "finalise candidates by asking party workers".

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