Shimla: Barring a few constituencies, the screening committee of Congress Party has achieved consensus over selecting of election candidates for the 65 assembly segments that go to the polls on 19th December, chief minister Virbhadra Singh disclosed here.
â€œBarring a few seats, unanimity had been reached on most. Winnablitiy of the candidate is the prime criteria and the list of candidates would be declared on Friday,â€ said Virbhadra Singh.
The chief minister ducked a question about congress being notorious for allotting party tickets to kith and kin of aging or deceased leaders said, â€œI have nothing to say on the matter. The issue of giving or not giving a ticket to a kith and kin of senior leader has been left for the party president Sonia Gandhi.â€
Regarding rebel congressmen who fought the last elections as independents and turned associate members of the Congress Legislature Party being considered as election candidates, he said, â€œwinning potential of a candidate and past adherence to party policies has to be considered. The associate members are being treated at par with other candidates for ticket allocation purposes.â€
Reacting to the reported differences with state congress president Viplove Thakur’ over giving tickets to the associate members as it was bound to effect cadre morale, the chief minister responded, â€œputting up a weak candidate would demoralize the party cadre more than having strong leadership in place. Compromises in politics have to be made,â€ said Virbhadra Singh.
Quizzed about protÃ©gÃ©, Singhi Ram, who is the horticulture minister having turned sides and facing the possibility of being denied a party ticket from Rampur constituency, Virbhadra Singh evaded the question by saying, â€œ if we are to go be some media reports, Singhi Ram has already been given the party ticket. So far, even I have not got the ticket,â€™ he quipped.