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General Elections 2019: Congress Screening Committee Begins Candidates Selection In Odisha, Focuses On Winnability


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13 February 2019

Debashish Maharana


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Bhubaneswar: With the general elections a few months ahead, All India Congress Committee (AICC)’s Screening Committee today began its exercise for the selection of candidates for both the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies here at the Congress Bhawan.

In his media reactions prior to the exercise, AICC Screening Committee chairman V.D. Sathisan said, “As a chairman of the Screening Committee and other members we came here yesterday. We’re going to start our deliberations with all the leaders like PCC office bearers, former MLAs, former MPs, sitting MLAs, and other office bearers of party and frontal organizations. Some of the members are going to other places.”

He informed, “I’m here to meet various leaders from the various parliamentary constituencies and assembly constituencies. Then we’ll discuss with the Pradesh Congress Committee members. Then we’ll prepare a list and that will be handed over to All India Congress Committee.”

“There is a procedure in the Congress party to select candidates. And we’ll follow the same procedure and nothing more. Focus to discuss about the candidates, about their possibility of win. Winnability is the main and the commitment to Congress party will be given more priority,” the AICC Screening Committee chief remarked.

Senior Congress MLA and PCC Working President Chiranjib Biswal said, “The Chairman of Screening Committee has come. He will meet with party members from various catergories like former MLAs, former MPs, DCC presidents, Zone Committee presidents, various office bearers, frontal organizations, Mahila Congress and all.”

He informed, They will try to bring a consensus at different constituencies. There are many applicants. So they will try deliberate on the suitable candidate for a particular constituency. The committee will gather the majority view in favour of a candidate. This is the purpose behind the Screening Committee’s tour.”

“Focus will be on youth and women candidates. Most important is winnability. The more the applicant has the winnability, that candidate will be considered,” the PCC Working President stressed.

He concluded, “Definitely the Screening Committee is very significant.”

Senior Congress leader Suresh Chandra Routray said, “I would like to thank Rahul Gandhi for deputing the Screening Committee here. The panel is gathering information from the very beginning. When we were asked about our assembly constituency, we proposed three names. For MP also three names. Whoever will be selected by Rahul Gandhi, the candidate will be fully supported by us and the victory will be completely ensured. All agree the people’s opinion.”

“In our constituency the people have made up their minds that they will send Sura Bhai of Congress to the Assembly. And that information is also available with the Screening Committee. When I discussed with them, they didn’t raise the issue of by three-time defeat. They opined that the candidate having lost within a thin margin will be considered. Hence I think, our Jatani case will be made a special consideration,” the senior Congress leader stated.

Ticket aspirant Rashmi Mohapatra told, “First I met the Chairman in the capacity of a working president. Initially we discussed about how to revive Congress and make it popular once again in our State. As I have fought earlier election as a politician, obviously I’m aspiring for a ticket. But, decision will be taken by the Screening Committee basing on the survey made at the grassroots level. Hence, there is no question of lobbying from my side.”

“I simply discussed about working for Congress and especially protecting its pride and prestige in Bhubaneswar,” she asserted.

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V.D. Sathisan, Chairman, AICC Screening Committee

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Chiranjib Biswal, Working President, PCC, Odisha

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Suresh Chandra Routray, Former Congress MLA, Odisha

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Rashmi Mohapatra, Congress Leader, Bhubaneswar