New Delhi: Girding up its loins for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2011, the Congress in its Screening Committee meeting has decided to field about 20 percent of female candidates in the state polls.

The meeting held on Saturday had a lengthy debate over increasing the representation of female contestants in state. In view of the Congress-RLD alliance to gain advantage in western UP, the party also formed a panel for 80 seats in Central and Eastern UP.

It is expected that by next week the Congress will declare its third list of candidates for the UP polls 2012.

According to sources, the Congress leader Sonia Gandhi has expressed displeasure over the poor percentage of female participation in UP elections. Earlier, the party has decided to give tickets to merely 10 to11 percent female contestants, which rose to 20 percent in the meeting.

However, few party workers have termed it an impractical approach for the UP polls.

Notably, a formal announcement of the Congress-RLD tie up in poll bound state is likely to take place in the coming week. It seems the Congress is no mood to take backseat after declaring its candidates for the constituencies in western UP.

It was due to this reason, the screening committee comprising the Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, Committee Chairman Mohan Prakash, PCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi avoided discussion on the seats of Western UP.

JPN/Bureau