Tuesday, Oct 28, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
According to sources in the party, the Screening Committee would be meeting all members of the PEC individually at Himachal Bhavan to apprise itself of the views of the Delhi leaders. Other members of the Committee include the AICC leader in charge of Delhi, Ahmed Patel, the Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, and the DPCC president, Chaudhary Prem Singh. It is learnt that all the PEC members have been asked to submit the names of their prospective candidates in writing with all the facts and figures so that it is not difficult for the Committee to arrive at a decision. The Committee has given different time slots to the PEC members and the meeting is expected to continue the whole day in order to elicit the views of the senior party leaders. Apart from the PEC members, leaders like the AICC general secretary, R.K. Dhawan, have also been asked to be part of the meeting and suggest the names they have in mind.
It is learnt that the Screening Committee would also consider the case of various people who are seeking party ticket this time. Prominent among them is the former MLA and AICC secretary, Jaikishen, who is asking for a party ticket in place of his wife and sitting MLA from Sultanpuri, Sushila Jaikishen. Also seeking party nomination from the Hauz Khas Assembly seat is Bina Singh, daughter of senior AICC leader, Arjun Singh. Sitting Congress MLA, Kiran Walia, presently holds the seat. Another senior Congress leader, Buta Singh, is seeking a party ticket for his son, Arvinder Singh, from the Nand Nagri Assembly seat, presently held by sitting Congress MLA, Roop Chand. The Leader of the House in MCD, Ram Babu Sharma, keen on contesting the Assembly polls from Babarpur seat but that will depend on the decision of the party high command to grant tickets to sitting Councillors. The Congress high command has made it clear that if any Councillor was keen on contesting, then he would have to resign his seat before filling the nomination.
It is understood the Screening Committee would complete its exercise of seeking the views of senior Delhi leaders within the next four days. The first meeting of the Central Election Committee is expected in the first week of November, which will set the ball rolling for announcement of final list of candidates. But going by the Congress tradition, the final announcement about the list of candidates is expected only at the eleventh hour, which could pose serious problems for the candidates in filing their nominations in view of the tedious requirements in the new nomination form brought out by the Election Commission of India.
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