AK Antony Committee had earlier recommended that names of candidates should be announced at least three months in advance but the party failed to take any effective initiative over it.

This is the first time the party is going to select candidates so early for the Lok Sabha polls. Party sources said that the process of selection of candidates will begin after AICC meet on January 17.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s close aide Jitendra Singh has been made the screening committee in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, while Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has been given responsibility of Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Andaman Nicobar.

Union Minister V Narayanasamy has been made the panel chief for Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura, whereas Congress MP PC Chacko will look after the screening of names of candidates for Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh.

Bhubaneshwar Kalita will be the chairman of the screening committee for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge has been made panel head for Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Mumbai.

Vayalar Ravi will head the screening team for Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Karnataka, while Ghulam Nabi Azad will oversee the teams in Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

Oscar Fernandes has been made chairman of the teams in the states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

Pawan Kumar Bansal is back with a larger role in the party. He has been made head of panel for Gujarat, Rajasthan, Dadar Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

The uniformity in the form of screening committees was one of the initiatives the party had taken as per the Congress Vice President’s transparency formula in party decisions.

Earlier this week, the Election Commission of India has said that the Lok Sabha elections will be held in April-May.


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