Amid reports that political strategist Prashant Kishor will decide on Congress party tickets for the next year’s Assembly elections in Punjab, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday termed it as baseless media speculation and ruled out any role of Kishor in finalisation party candidates.
“There is no question of it. Kishor has no say in the matter,” said the CM, amid reports of resentment in the Punjab Congress over his newly appointed principal advisor Kishor deciding on the tickets.
There are set norms and patterns for ticket allocation in the Congress, which are followed in all elections in all states, said Amarinder and added that Punjab was no exception. There is a state election committee set up by the high command ahead of any Assembly poll, which considers all the names and decides on the final candidates, he pointed out. The shortlisted names are then sent for scrutiny to the screening committee, comprising top party leadership, including the Congress president, he added.
The final decision is taken by the central election committee, with no individual having any role to play, he added.
In the process of ticket finalisation, inputs are always taken by this committee from various internal and external parties, including independent agencies as well the state party unit, he said, adding that this is the process that was followed in 2017 and will be adopted again this time. “So where does Kishor come into the picture,” the CM asked.
“His (Kishor’s) role as my principal advisor is limited. It is only advisory in nature, with no decision-making authority vested in him,” added the chief minister.