Congress has finalised candidates for around 15 of the 41 Assembly seats it is contesting in Bihar after a meeting of the Central Election Committee chaired by party chief Sonia Gandhi.

The party is likely to release its first list of candidates for at least nine seats tonight or tomorrow morning. For the first phase of polls, which will take place on October 12, the last day of filing nomination is Wednesday.

The decisions were taken after back to back meetings.

The party’s screening committee, chaired by senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge, first examined the list of candidates for all 40 seats that were sent to it by the Pradesh Election Committee.

CLP leader of Bihar Sadanand Singh, however, did not attend any of the two meetings. PCC chief Ashok Chaudhary, AICC general secretary in-charge for Bihar CP Joshi and other leaders were present.

The PEC had sent a list of three to five candidates for each of the 40 seats.

Sources say that the screening committee finalised the names of one candidate for 15 seats while it proposed more than one names on the rest leaving the final decision to the Central Election Committee chaired by Sonia.

The ‘Mahagathbandhan’, or grand alliance had on Saturday reached a consensus on seat distribution with JD(U) and RJD to contest 101 seats each while Congress will put up candidates in 41 seats for the October-November Bihar Assembly poll.