India: Congress Party Holds Central Election Committee Meeting for Punjab Lok Sabha Elections 2024

Congress finalizes candidates for Punjab Lok Sabha seats, faces AAP challenge; CEC also discusses Bihar candidates as party leader Bittu resigns to join BJP.

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Congress Holds Central Election Committee Meeting for Punjab Lok Sabha Elections 2024

India: Congress Party Holds Central Election Committee Meeting for Punjab Lok Sabha Elections 2024

The Congress party held a Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting at its headquarters in New Delhi on Sunday to finalize candidates for the remaining Lok Sabha seats in Punjab and other states for the 2024 general elections. The meeting was chaired by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and attended by party leader Sonia Gandhi, as well as senior Congress leaders from Punjab.

The Congress has fielded candidates for all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, including Gurjeet Singh Aujla in Amritsar, Amar Singh in Fathgarh Sahib, Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu in Bhatinda, Sukhpal Singh Khaira in Sangrur, Dharamvir Gandhi in Patiala, and former CM Charanjit Singh Channi in the Jalandhar constituency. Polling for these seats will take place in the last phase on June 1.

Despite being allies in other states, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress are contesting the election in Punjab separately. The AAP has also announced four candidates for the state. In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the INC-led UPA alliance secured eight seats in Punjab, while the NDA won four, and the AAP clinched one seat in its debut.

Why this matters: The upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Punjab are critical for both the Congress and AAP as they seek to establish their dominance in the state. The outcome could have significant implications for the national political landscape and the formation of the next government at the center.

The CEC meeting also discussed potential candidates for the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, where the Congress is set to field candidates on 9 seats as part of the Mahagathbandhan alliance with the RJD and Left parties. The party has so far declared 285 candidates for the upcoming seven-phase parliamentary polls that began on April 19.

In a setback for the Congress, Tajinder Singh Bittu, the AICC Secretary-in-Charge of Himachal Pradesh, resigned from the party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the party headquarters in Delhi. Bittu's departure adds to the string of key leaders who have left the Congress in recent weeks.

Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni, who attended the CEC meeting, stated, "The party has carefully selected candidates for the Punjab Lok Sabha seats, keeping in mind their track record, local connect, and ability to win. We are confident that our candidates will receive the support of the people and help the Congress emerge victorious in the state."

Key Takeaways

  • Congress finalizes candidates for 13 Punjab Lok Sabha seats for 2024 polls.
  • Congress-AAP contest Punjab polls separately despite alliance in other states.
  • CEC also discussed potential candidates for 9 Bihar Lok Sabha seats.
  • Congress has so far declared 285 candidates for upcoming 7-phase parliamentary polls.
  • Congress leader Tajinder Singh Bittu resigns, joins BJP, adding to party's recent losses.