Lucknow: With the Congress missing out on yet another deadline for declaration of the first list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, party members are left in a catch-22 situation over their plans to kick-start their campaign.

Previously, the Congress stalwarts had announced to release the first list of candidates by July 31 and a meeting in this regard was convened in Lucknow on July 12. There are around 8,500 party members who have made their candidature for the 403 assembly seats of the state. Given the higher number of applications, the party in charge is not in a position to conduct interview of the applicants.

The Kisan Sandesh Yatra and Aligarh Panchayat of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had raised hopes of an early declaration of first list of party candidates. However, despite the claims, the Congress has once again failed to meet the deadline.

It appears the central leadership of the Congress is not too keen on preparing the list as it has not constituted the screening committee or the central election committee. Without the approval of these two committees, it would not be possible for Congress head Sonia Gandhi to sign the list of party candidates.

The delay is also being termed as a part of the party strategy. One faction of the Congress is not in favour of early declaration of the first list as they believe that announcing the name of candidates before the local body elections may cause a harm to the party.

The delimitation of the Assembly constituencies has also proved a bottleneck in the Congress efforts to announce the name of sitting legislatures or party candidates who came second in the 2007 UP elections.