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Youth, women to be given priority in ticket distribution for Gujarat polls: Congress

Chennithala has been appointed as the committee's chairman and Maharashtra Congress leader Shivajirao Moghe and former Delhi MLA Jai Kishan are its members.

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The Congress will give priority to youth and women in ticket distribution for the Gujarat Assembly elections due later this year, state party’s screening committee chairman Ramesh Chennithala said on Tuesday.

He said the Congress will also give a chance to ”new faces” in the state polls.

Last month, the All India Congress Committee constituted a three-member screening committee to shortlist party candidates for the Gujarat polls due in December this year.

Chennithala has been appointed as the committee’s chairman and Maharashtra Congress leader Shivajirao Moghe and former Delhi MLA Jai Kishan are its members.

Gujarat Congress in-charge Raghu Sharma, state party president Jagdish Thakor and Leader of Opposition Sukhram Rathva are ex-officio members of the screening committee.

On Monday evening, the screening committee members held a joint meeting with the Congress’s Pradesh Election Committee, comprising 39 members including Sharma and Thakor, after Rahul Gandhi’s address to the booth-level workers in Ahmedabad.

”This time, we will give priority to new faces, youth and women in ticket distribution. Our list of candidates for the Gujarat polls this time will be an impressive one,” Chennithala told reporters here ahead of another meeting of the screening committee on Tuesday. Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said, ”Yesterday’s joint-meeting was more about getting familiar with each other and discussing various criteria which will be applied to finalise candidates.” On Tuesday, the screening committee will meet senior leaders and party in-charge of each Assembly seat to understand the ground situation before finalising the candidates, he said.

For the 182-member Assembly, the Congress is expected to announce its first list of candidates by September-end.

The new entrant Aam Aadmi Party has already declared 19 candidates.

The ruling BJP has not announced any candidate so far.

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