A clear indication to this effect is being given by AICC office bearers in charge of the poll bound states including Chhattisgarh and Mizoram. Winnability is the criteria, is the refrain among the central leaders at a time when the schedule for the assembly polls is expected to be announced this week.
Congress is out of power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh
The elections could be in mid-November after Diwali. Asked whether 'sitting-getting' formula under which all sitting MLAs are renominated will be applied in the polls, Party General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed replied in the negative. Ahmed, who is in-charge of party affairs in Delhi, said that all party MLAs will have to apply for tickets and a decision will be taken based on their performance and image.
"Winnability is our criteria. We will try our best to have the best possible candidates," was the refrain of Ahmed.
Another senior leader, who is associated with the selection process in Madhya Pradesh, said that tickets to sitting MLAs will be decided on an individual basis. A party leader involved in Rajasthan polls said the central leadership wanted to remove the anti-incumbency against some sitting members who would be denied tickets.
"The anti-incumbency is not against the Chief Minister but against some MLAs and the party will have to address the issue", he said.
Congress is out of power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for 10 long years with BJP ruling there since 2003. Sheila Dikshit has created a record in Delhi as the longest serving woman chief minister in independent India.
In the polls, she is seeking a fourth term. Rajasthan, where Congress is in power, has witnessed a keen tussle with BJP over the years. Congress is ruling in Mizoram.
During a number of meetings in AICC, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi had been laying great emphasis for party leaders projecting a united face in the poll bound states.