Lucknow: Emboldened by the success of Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's padyatra and Mahapanchayat in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress is leaving no stone unturned to defeat Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and cash in on the golden opportunity to stamp its authority in the state.

Setting eyes on 2012 UP assembly elections, the party is now gearing up to nominate its best candidates. In a bid to make strategy to score well in the Assembly polls, state party president Rita Bahuguna Joshi and party in-charge Digvijay Singh held meeting on Tuesday in presence of the Gandhi scion.

Legislative Council member Naseeb Pathan and Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma were also present during the meeting.

The Congress election committee decided to give a second chance to the sitting MLAs and field them from the same constituency.

In the meeting, it was also decided that the committee will send the first list of candidates to the Central Screening Committee by July 31 and will announce its manifesto soon. However, the candidates will first have to pass through an interview during the selection process.

Observers believe that recent Bhatta-Parsaul issue has already given an impetus to the moribund Congress unit in the state. Therefore, a justified list of candidates is likely to act as a shot in the arm of the party.

It may be noted that more than 8000 candidates will be contesting for the 403 UP Assembly seats.

JPN/Bureau