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Assembly poll: Congress to field candidate in all seats, setback for PDF

The Congress on Sunday announced to field candidate in all assembly constituencies in poll-bound Uttarakhand, in a setback to six Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) MLAs who backed its government in the house during a political crisis early this year.

Congress state unit president Kishore Upadhyay told the media here on Sunday that following his recent meeting with AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi, it was decided that the ruling party would field candidates in 70 constituencies.

“The decision has been taken and it will be implemented in every aspect,” he said without mentioning anything about the PDF MLAs, who are cabinet ministers in chief minister Harish Rawat’s government.

The PDF – comprising two BSP legislators, one from Uttarakhand Kranti Dal and three Independents – has always been a serious bone of contention between Upadhyay and Rawat.

The PDF has been supporting the Congress government in the state since its formation in 2012. It rescued Rawat’s government in the 70-member house during a political crisis triggered by disqualification of nine rebel Congress MLAs early this year.

Besides, Upadhyay said he has already received more than 1,000 applications for party tickets to contest the assembly polls to be held early next year.

He also announced that the newly formed state election committee would hold its first meeting on December 18-19 in the presence of AICC general secretary and state in-charge Ambika Soni and co in-charge Sanjay Kapoor.

Upadhyay said the state manifesto committee would also hold its first meeting on December 19 in the presence of Soni.

“Party will leaders will also take part in next round of Satat Vikas Sankalp Yatra which has been renamed as Samaveshi Satat Vikas for Janashish on December 19,” he said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will visit Uttarakhand on December 23, Upadhay said. During the visit, Gandhi will address party members.

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