Congress to announce candidates for Gujarat elections in December

The Congress on Tuesday announced that it would declare the list of candidates to be fielded in the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat by the end of December 2016, a year in advance. The next assembly elections in the state are due in December 2017.
This was announced by AICC general secretary and state party in-charge Gurudas Kamat at a media briefing after a daylong extended state executive committee meeting of the party.
This would be a big departure from the party’s tradition of announcing candidates only a day or two before the filing of nominations. Asked if it would not result in infighting given the factionalism in the state and rivals of the person selected as candidate for the elections would work against him thus adversely affecting the electoral prospects of the party, Kamat said, “the party is capable of handling it”. He said that advance announcement of the candidates from the constituencies would provide ample time to the candidate to approach the people and establish rapport with them for their support in elections.“It will improve the winning prospect”, he claimed.
Kamat said that the party presidents at the taluka and district levels had been asked to submit a list of at least 15 prospective candidates from each constituency by September 30, 2016, to allow time to the state leadership to prepare the final list of the candidates. He said even those aspiring to contest polls could also submit their names to the party by the end of September 2016.
Replying to a question if the party would go for alliance with any party in the polls, he said that it was yet to be discussed. He also refused to answer a question if Congress would project someone as chief ministerial face in elections.
Kamat said development of the state would be the chief electoral agenda of the party in 2017 assembly polls. However, the party would also raise issues like non-performance of the state BJP government, non-fulfilling of the promises BJP made in 2012 assembly polls, unemployment, inflation ever since BJP came to power at the Centre and rampant corruption in the state government under chief minister Anandiben Patel and also at the Centre under prime minister Narendra Modi.
Asked about his comments on AAP set to enter the electoral battle in the state, he said that his party was not concerned about it.

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