Lucknow: With Rahul Gandhi galvanizing the entire political scenario in Uttar Pradesh by throwing a poll gauntlet at the Bahujan Samaj Party and other parties during his Mahapanchayat, the Congress is leaving no stone unturned to cash in on the golden opportunity to stamp its authority in the state. 

Despite a delay, the party is soon going to announce its first list of candidates for the 403 seats. The Congress election committee members will be meeting in Lucknow on July 12 to discuss the list of candidates and a possible pre-poll alliance.  Leading from the front, Rahul Gandhi will preside over the meeting and himself interact with the election committee members.

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.

According to party source, a just selection of candidates will help Congress build up its image in the state and raise the irregularities in development projects in the tenure of BSP government.
On the issue of the candidates, more than 8000 applications have been submitted at the Congress headquarters for the 403 Assembly seats, which reflect that each seat has around 20 applicants.

However, one faction of the party is not in favour of early announcement of the candidates’ names.

Legislative Council member Naseeb Pathan and Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma deem that proper and thorough investigation are required before the declaration of the candidates. They also feel that the stage is set for Congress in UP and choice of candidates will play an ultimate role in the final assault on the BSP.