The Congress in Gujarat will soon start candidate selection process for the upcoming Lok Sabha contest in a bid to score the first-mover advantage over the rival BJP, which had whitewashed the opposition party in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home turf by winning all 26 seats in the 2014 polls.
At a meeting of party leaders held here Friday, it was decided that the candidate selection process will be initiated soon and names of the probables will be submitted to the party high-command, who will take a final call on the timing to release the list, a party leader said.
The Congress is aggressively reworking its poll strategy against the backdrop of the humiliating drubbing of 2014.
A senior Gujarat Congress leader said after the meeting that the party will now concentrate on winning booths in each of 26 Lok Sabha seats, and will appoint electoral "page-presidents" to achieve this goal.
It seems the Congress is taking a cue from its rival, BJP which had introduced the 'electoral roll page president' or "panna pramukh" mechanism to connect with voters.
"The process to select candidates and form a panel of names for each Lok Sabha seat will be completed as soon as possible," he said.
Doshi said the names of probable candidates will be submitted to the party high-command who will take a call on releasing the list.
The spokesperson also said the party has assigned responsibility of each constituency to specific persons.
"By the end of this month, party workers will be given responsibility of booths. Going beyond booths, we intend to appoint 'page presidents'," Chavda said Friday.
Page presidents, who will be assigned a page of the electoral roll each, are supposed to stay in touch with the voters on their lists and motivate them to vote for the Congress.
Under this model, the party assigns a page of the electoral roll each to a 'panna pramukh' or page in-charge who is the first point of contact for most voters in a given constituency. The page in-charge's job is to build rapport with the voters on their lists and motivate them to vote for the BJP.
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