This Article is From Mar 05, 2014

Suresh Kalmadi unlikely to get Congress ticket; Jagdish Tytler files for primaries from Delhi

Suresh Kalmadi unlikely to get Congress ticket; Jagdish Tytler files for primaries from Delhi

Congress strongman from Pune Suresh Kalmadi (file pic)

New Delhi: Ahead of the Election Commission's formal announcement of the Lok Sabha election dates, the Congress' top leadership met for close to two hours on Tuesday to finalise their first list of candidates in politically crucial states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Sources say about 100 names have been finalised. But Suresh Kalmadi, the Congress strongman from Pune, is unlikely to get a ticket. Though there have been reports that Mr Kalmadi's wife or daughter may be accommodated by the party. It is increasingly becoming clear that the party wants to avoid controversy by giving Mr Kalmadi a ticket.

Mr Kalmadi had spent 10 months in jail on charges of corruption and misappropriation of funds in the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi in 2010. Ironically, Mr Kalmadi was one of the Congress MPs who attended a dinner hosted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday.

However, another controversial candidate has thrown in his hat in the electoral ring. Former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler has decided to take part in the Congress primary for the northeast Lok Sabha seat in Delhi under the primaries project.

Mr Tytler's nomination is likely to embarrass the Congress party as the BJP has repeatedly charged it with shielding those who were allegedly involved in the 1984 Sikh riots.

In a personal message, Mr Tytler today urged the media not to rake up the 1984 riots, claiming "vested interests have often spoilt his chances of contesting the elections."

"Whenever the election approaches, just to see that I don't succeed either in getting a ticket or in order to damage my reputation by a few people with vested political interest raises the 1984 riot against me," Mr Tytler said in a statement.

The BJP, however, is likely to use Mr Tytler's nomination as ammunition  to further attack the Congress as the exchange of words heat up ahead of the national election, due by May.