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Congress nominates dead leader, drops Rahul aides

New Delhi, Aug 2(): Congress nominated a dead leader to its screening committee for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections . After the J&K Congress state unit informed about the recent death of the leader it brought a revised list without naming anyone, but adding Congress legislature party leader instead. Here again the post is vacant as the dead leader was holding the post and has not been filled up. In the screening panels to select candidates to States going to polls only three Rahul Gandhi aides has been included and CP Joshi and Mistry who were key members of the Lok Sabha polls committee are dropped. Apart from State presidents of Congress and Legislature party head, Sonia Gandhi has nominated only senior leaders and old guards. This signals a shift from depending on the Rahul Team, which was in charge of candidate selection.

The J-K Congress is contesting this poll without an ally, as it has parted ways with NCP. In the Lok Sabha polls it drew a blank with BJP and PDP gaining in strength. The face of Congress in the valley was Choudhary Mohammad Aslam, who died on June 16. He was the former Speaker and minister in the state cabinet. Aslam won from the Surankote constituency in the state assembly polls and was Congress legislature party (CLP) chief. The screening committee list was circulated to State units and probable candidates. The Congress corrected its mistake as the State unit was shocked that the High Command was in dark about the death of its CLP leader.

According to the lists, Mallikarjun Kharge the Congress leader in the Lok Sabha will head the panel for Maharashtra where it has a problem with its ally NCP, while Jitendra Singh, an aide of party vice president Rahul Gandhi is appointed the head of screening committee for Jharkhand. Former PAC chief and ex MP PC Chacko will screen candidates for Haryana while Ajay Maken, party general secretary is the head of the J&K screening committee. Manick Tagore and Suraj Hegde – both Rahul aides are in the other panels.