Ashok Gehlot appointed Congress screening panel chief for Punjab polls


Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot was on Friday appointed as the head of the Congress screening committee for Punjab Assembly polls. Besides Gehlot, the committee comprises AICC secretary in charge of the state Asha Kumari, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh, CLP leader Charanjit Singh Channi, former Indian Youth Congress chief Rajiv Satav and former MP Meenakshi Natarajan.

The announcement was made by chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, who said party president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi have approved the setting up of the committee. This six-member screening committee will scrutinise the party candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state and the AICC Election Committee will finalise the candidates thereafter in consultation with the party leadership.

Congress has been in political wilderness for 10 long years in the state and is striving to get power back from the ruling Akali-BJP combine. The party, which is going to polls with former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh as its face, is facing stiff competition from the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The high-stakes Punjab Assembly election is slated for early next year and campaigning is on in full swing in the state.

(With inputs from PTI)