The Congress on Thursday invited applications from the party’s ticket aspirants for the upcoming Punjab assembly polls with state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu asserting that merit will be the key criteria for the selection of candidates.
The first meeting of the Congress’ Punjab election committee was held here under the chairmanship of Sidhu. Punjab Congress general secretary Yoginder Pal Dhingra told reporters that the party has decided to accept forms from the ticket aspirants and December 20 will be the last date for the submission of applications.
He said the screening committee will sit for the next three days starting Friday and the ticket aspirants can meet its members. Dhingra said Punjab Congress chief Sidhu has also decided not to accept any money along with application forms from ticket aspirants. He said the Congress was earlier accepting Rs 10,000 per application form.
Dhingra said a resolution in the meeting was passed, praising former prime minister Indira Gandhi for India's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war, which led to the creation of Bangladesh. After the meeting, Sidhu told reporters that another resolution was passed in the meeting authorising Congress president Sonia Gandhi to take a final call on ticket distribution. He said the Congress will fight the upcoming polls unitedly. Each worker will be involved and will be given responsibility, he added. Sidhu said tickets would be allotted on the basis of merit.
Early this week, the Congress had announced the formation of the Pradesh election committee under the chairmanship of Sidhu for the assembly polls. Among those who are members of the committee include Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, senior party leader and coordination committee chairperson Ambika Soni, former Punjab Congress chief and campaign committee chairman Sunil Jakhar, MP and chairman of manifesto committee Partap Singh Bajwa, party's all Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs and state ministers.
The Congress had last week announced various party panels for the Punjab assembly polls, making senior leader Ajay Maken the head of the committee for screening prospective candidates and appointing former state unit president Sunil Jakhar as the campaign committee chief.
Senior leader Ambika Soni will chair the party's coordination committee and another former state unit chief and Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa is the chairman of the manifesto committee.
-With PTI Inputs