Congress to announce candidates much in advance

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New Delhi, Oct 14 (UNI) As the Election Commission announced the poll schedule for five states in November-December, the Congress Party today said it would announce the names of its candidates before this month end in keeping with the recommendations of the A K Antony committee.

''Our candidate selection exercise for Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Mizoram is almost over,'' AICC Media Department Chairman Veerappa Moily told mediapersons here.

The Congress used to announce its candidates a few days before the last date for filing of nominations. A committee, headed by Defence Minister A K Antony, had recently identified this practice as the single largest factor that goes against the winnability of the party candidates as the last minute announcement leaves the candidate with a little time for campaigning.

Mr Moily, who is heading the Screening Committee for Madhya Pradesh, said the list was almost ready and that it would be finalised in the next two days.

He said the screening committees for other four states had also completed their job.

Mr Moily said the screening committees would submit their recommendations to the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Party before its next meeting which is likely anytime from now.

He said Congress President Sonia Gandhi would release the final list of candidates on the basis of the recommendations of the CEC.

''This kind of preparation has never taken place in our party,'' Mr Moily said.

UNI SH AKJ NS1926

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