New Delhi: Differences of opinion among members of Congress' Election Committee today resulted further delay in finalising broad guidelines for selecting the party's candidates for 70 constituencies in coming assembly elections.
At a meeting, members of the Election Committee deliberated on the issue but could not arrive at a final decision on finalising criteria for selecting the candidates. Sources said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was in favour of sending the names of almost all sitting MLAs to the AICC Screening Committee, which was opposed by a number of members.
They said there have been serious criminal charges against a number of sitting MLAs and the issue should be deliberated upon further. The sources, however, said a majority of sitting MLAs are likely to be given tickets.
They said the committee will hold detailed deliberations on finalising panel candidates for 27 seats where it had lost in 2008 polls. A number of Election Committee members opposed giving tickets to Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami from Rajinder Nagar constituency saying his name has not been recommended by Block Congress.
Similarly, some of them said sitting MLA from Adarsh Nagar Mangat Ram Singhal should not be given ticket as there is "little chance" of his winning. Around 1,600 Congress men have applied for tickets. In its last meeting on Tuesday, the Election Committee had decided not to give tickets to those facing serious criminal charges.
It also decided to finalise a panel of three candidates for each of the 70 constituencies in today's meeting, sources said.
All-India Congress Committee General Secretary and in- charge for Delhi affairs, Shakeel Ahmed, AICC secretary in- charge for Delhi, Kuljit Singh Nagra, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President J P Agarwal and Sheila Diskhit attended the meeting along with senior party members.
Election Committee members Janardhan Dwivedi, Ajay Maken and Karan Singh were notable absentees at the meeting.