Congress plays it safe in Punjab

There appears to be no end to the internal strife within the Congress in Punjab over allocation of tickets to candidates. The party, after much dithering, has come out with its first list of 61 candidates and it gives a clear signal that the party is trying to play safe. The list includes 31 sitting MLAs but among the sitting MLAs not nominated in the first list is the young leader Is Raja Amarinder Singh Warring and the rebel senior leader Lal Singh. On the other hand it has six youth leaders who appear to have been directly chosen by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Another interesting aspect of the list is that nine defeated candidates have been given tickets while the party has refrained from giving more than one ticket to each family as was announced earlier. The list has not, however, thrown up any major surprise and much would depend on how the party leadership deals with the contentious seats. The ticket distribution and the response of those denied tickets would largely decide the fate of the Congress in the ensuing elections. // ]]>