‘Winnability’ only criterion for selecting candidates: Capt Amarinder Singh

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Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh on July 12 said the performance of all party legislators will be assessed before nominating them to contest the 2017 Assembly elections in the state. Responding to a question during his ‘Halqe vich Captain’ programme at Bhadaur in Barnala, Amarinder said that ‘winnability’ will be the only criterion for selecting the candidates. He agreed with party workers’ suggestion that their opinion should be taken before nominating a candidate from a particular constituency. “You will suggest as who will be the right candidate for the contest and we will recommend him to the party high command and the final decision will be taken by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi”, he said while asking them it will be responsibility of each and every Congressman to ensure their victory. Replying to a question about the declaration form sought from aspirants that they will not contest against the official nominees, the PCC president said, there was nothing wrong about it as loyalty and discipline are pre-requisite conditions for strengthening the party. Asked as what necessitated the self declaration affidavit, the former Chief Minister said, “given the massive response the party was getting everybody expected Congress to form the government (in Punjab) and with the result there were lot of party ticket aspirants.”
He said, the party will ensure this time that there were no rebels as all those who do not get the tickets will be accommodated in the government. Notably, in a proforma prepared by the party for inviting applications from ticket aspirants for the 2017 assembly polls, Punjab Congress has asked ticket applicants to “take a pledge” that they will not contest polls on any assembly seat against Congress nominee if they are not “chosen”. At least 22 rebels had damaged the prospects of Congress in the last 2012 assembly polls. Punjab is likely to see a keen contest between SAD-BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party during the 2017 Assembly polls.

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