State Congress is likely to declare the names of the candidates for the five Lok Sabha seats from Uttarakhand before the Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s proposed visit to the State on March 16.
The Congress president would address a rally at Parade Ground in the city on March 16 to kick start the election campaign of his party in Uttarakhand. Ahead of the visit of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress circles are agog with speculation that the party might declare the names of the candidates for all the five Lok Sabha seats next week. The in- charge of the State Congress, Anugrah Narayan Singh, is expected to submit the panel of the candidates prepared by the state screening committee to the parliamentary screening committee of the Congress on March 9. The Congress president Gandhi has convened a meeting of the state unit presidents of the party on March 9. It is expected that the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Pritam Singh would hold discussion on the probable candidates for the five parliamentary constituencies of the State during the meeting.
The screening committee for selection of candidates for Uttarakhand is headed by Anugrah Narayan Singh. The co-in-charge of Congress Rajesh Dharmani, State Congress president Pritam Singh, the leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Indira Hridayesh and the national general secretary (organisation) Venu Gopal are the members of the committee.
Besides, the Congress has also appointed observers for all the five Lok Sabha seats. The party has nominated the former minister Tilak Raj Behed as the observer for Tehri, the deputy leader of the Congress legislature party Karan Mahra as the observer for Pauri, the former Minister Dinesh Agarwal as the observer for Nainital, senior leader Mahendra Pal Singh as the observer for Haridwar and the former minister Surendra Singh Negi as the observer of Almora.
Queried over the selection of the candidates, the PCC chief Pritam Singh said that the process for selection is going on. “It is for the party to decide when to declare the names,” he said. He claimed that the rally of Congress president in Dehradun would be a historic one, given the overwhelming support the party is enjoying among the people of the State. Meanwhile, the State Congress has started to gear itself up to make the rally to be addressed by Rahul Gandhi a huge success in terms of turnout. The state party leaders said that in case, the rally turns out to be a well-attended one, it would silence the critics who say that the party is lagging far behind the ruling BJP in the preparation of the poll. The state party held a meeting at Rajiv Bhawan-the state party office- on Wednesday to discuss the nitty gritty of the public meeting to be addressed by Rahul Gandhi. In course of the meeting, the party assigned responsibilities to different leaders to make the rally a big success.
The probable names- Among the Congress probables for the LS poll from the State, the name of the former Chief Minister Harish Rawat is doing the rounds. He is expected to contest from Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar-Naninital seats.
Similarly, the contention of the PCC president Pritam Singh and his predecessor Kishore Upadhyaya is also quite strong from Tehri seat. From Almora-Pithoragarh reserved seat, names of the Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Tamta and Sarita Arya are in circulation. The former State Cabinet Ministers-Ganesh Godiyal, Rajendra Singh Bhandari and Surendra Singh Negi-are being cited as the front runners for the Garhwal seat. Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, Indira Hridayesh and senior leader Tilak Raj Behed are also said to be eager to throw their hats for Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar parliamentary seat.
Thursday, 07 March 2019 | PNS | Dehradun