Chandigarh:With the Election Commission of India (ECI) announcing the election date final countdown to Punjab assembly elections started on Wednesday afternoon, but the Congress is yet to decide on 40 of the 117 assembly segments.
The joke doing rounds in the political circles, including the Congress, is that the party still has time till January 21, the last date for the withdrawal of nominations. This means, all the aspirants can file the nominations and they can be asked to withdraw in favour of the official candidate on the last date of nominations.
The party rank and file in general and the ticket aspirants from these 40 constituencies in particular are worried over the precious time they are losing. “And to top it all there is no idea or indication from anywhere as when these 40 seats will be decided,” regretted a senior party leader and sitting MLA, who is lucky of getting ticket in the first list and is campaigning actively.
The political pundits maintain that the last minute casual attitude of the party in finalising the tickets has sent a very wrong signal as if the party was either not keen to win the elections or had already given up.
“Otherwise, such lack of seriousness is never seen anywhere and in any party,” said another leader and a former Parliamentarian.
In 2012 also, the party delayed the ticket distribution process till the last moment, leaving it hardly with any time to convince the rebels to withdraw. With the result, the rebels led to defeat of the party candidates in at least 20 assembly segments.