The Congress screening committee, headed by senior party leader and former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, finalised candidates for more than 15 Mumbai seats for Assembly polls expected to be held in October.
Besides the four sitting MLAs from the city, the party has zeroed in on the names of a few former MLAs and sitting corporators. It still has differences over about eight to 10 seats from the 29 Mumbai seats it is contesting as the seat-sharing pact with the Nationalist Congress Party. Mumbai has 36 Assembly seats.
The committee comprising senior leaders from the state and Mumbai discussed the constituency-wise names over meetings held in Delhi on Wednesday. Except for the seats with more than one strong candidate and seats that may be given for smaller allies like Samajwadi Party, the Congress has finalised its candidates. The list of the candidates will however be declared only after the announcement of the elections.
Four sitting city MLAs and a few former legislators are among those to be finalised by the committee. “We are again meeting on September 14 to finalise Mumbai and Maharashtra candidates. The first list will be announced after it,” said KC Padvi, state legislative party leader and member of the committee.
Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat said they could not take a decision on the names of candidates for 8-10 Mumbai seats. The Congress has conceded seven seats, including Magathane, Worli and Kurla to NCP. The party has also zeroed in on the names of candidates for more than 50 seats in the rest of Maharashtra. Before the screening committee meeting on September 14, the state leaders will discuss over the names in the seats that have not been finalised on Friday in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, acting president of Mumbai Congress Eknath Gaikwad met Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday and discussed various issues including desertion by party leaders namely Urmila Matondkar and Kripashankar Singh. Gaikwad said after the meeting, “It was my first meeting with her after she took over as president of the party. We discussed the resignation by party leaders and have decided to pursue Urmila to reconsider her decision.”