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In a major political development ahead of crucial Punjab elections, the ruling Congress has decided to omit over dozens of MLAs and several cabinet ministers. Meanwhile, the party has finalised the list of 50 poll candidates in a meeting held on Wednesday.

According to sources, of the 80 sitting MLAs, the grand old party is likely to not give tickets to over two dozen of legislatures in upcoming elections. The list of such candidates includes at least two cabinet ministers, one prominent leader of Doaba and two to three MLAs from Majha and Malwa regions.

The sources further claim that several MLAs are not willing to contest from their previous constituency owing to the fear of losing in polls.

Meanwhile, after finalising the candidacy in 50 constituencies, Congress is set to conduct another fast survey on seats with more than one strong contender.

On Wednesday late evening in Delhi, a meeting of the AICC-appointed screening committee for Punjab elections held discussions in this regard. The meeting was chaired by Ajay Maken and Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, PPCC President Navjot Singh Sidhu, former PPCC President Sunil Jakhar and Punjab Affairs In-Charge Harish Chaudhary were among the attendees.

Multiple surveys have previously been conducted by the party to assess aspirants' 'winnability.' The Sonia Gandhi led central election committee (CEC) will release the final list.

To counter the BJP's efforts to lure its leaders, the Congress plans to unveil its first list of candidates before the model code of conduct is imposed.

Meanwhile, the screening committee today evaluated seats where new faces would be fielded. 10-15 sitting legislators will likely be replaced.

On Wednesday, Sunil Jakhar had said after the meeting that, “Several factors including Winability, single ticket in a family, fielding senior leaders from the seats that they have won earlier, etc” will be followed while deciding the seats for upcoming assembly polls in Punjab.

Jakhar also confirmed that the final decision will be made by Sonia Gandhi-chaired CEC.

“Today, discussion on seats was held but the final list will be released by CEC headed by Sonia Gandhi,” he said. 

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