Party picks 11 SC candidates for Delhi polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday announced candidates for 57 Assembly seats for the February 8 Delhi polls picking 11 SC and four women candidates.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, joined by senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar, announced the list finalised at party’s Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting on Thursday night.
It seems that the BJP, which swept the 2017 civic polls in Delhi, is betting big on its municipal leaders to shore up the party’s fortune for in the Assembly polls. Therefore, the BJP gave poll tickets to nearly 20 municipal leaders, including four former mayors, as many ex-deputy mayors and a host of sitting and former councillors.
Former Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra has been fielded from Model Town. Karwal Nagar seat, from where Mishra had won on AAP ticket, has gone to old war horse and four-term MLA Mohan Singh Bisht.
The BJP has not declared candidate against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from New Delhi seat.
JD(U)’s Shilendra Kumar filed nomination from Burari which the latter has demanded from the BJP. JD(U) has staked claim for Badarpur seat too but the BJP has fielded seasoned politician Ram Singh Bidhuri who had won this seat thrice.
The BJP central command is mulling over to field a strong candidate against Kejriwal.
Names of member of Parliament (MP) from New Delhi Lok Sabha seat Meenakshi Lekhi and former AAP leader Kumar Vishwas are doing rounds, a BJP insider said.
“New Delhi has different demography. People residing in New Delhi are the tax payers, many are business oriented people and some are serving in Central Government, Kejriwal’s policies on free water electricity will not work for New Delhi voters,” said a BJP insider pitching name of Lekhi and Vishwas against Kejriwal.
“Indeed, if one can see, these tax payers are totally against distributing free water/electricity and the party high command believe that Lekhi and Vishwas may woe the voters, Lekhi has worked in her constituency also,” said a source.
Senior BJP leader Vijender Gupta also got ticket from Rohini while former mayors Ravinder Gupta and Yogender Chandolia also got tickets from Matiya Mahal and Karol Bagh respectively.
BJP leader Jagdish Pradhan will contest from Mustafabad, Naresh Gaur from Babarpur, Kaushal Mishra from Seelampur, OP Sharma from Vishwas Nagar, Anil Bajpai from Gandhi Nagar and Jitender Mahajan will contest election from Rohtash Nagar.
While AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodai has filed nomination from Patparganj, BJP leader Ravi Negi will contest against Sisodia.
Former deputy mayors and a senior leader in the BJP -led South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) are among the four women.
Greater Kailash candidate Shikha Rai is the former Leader of the House of the SDMC and an ex-chairperson of its Standing Committee.
Rekha Gupta, a former councillor and former Delhi BJP general secretary, will contest from Shalimar Bagh in northwest Delhi.
Lata Sodhi, who has been fielded from Ballimaran, is a former councillor. Sodhi’s father-in-law Motilal Sodhi also represented the seat as an MLA.
Kiran Vaid, who will be in the fray from the Trilokpuri seat, is a sitting councillor and has also served as a deputy mayor of East Delhi. She had unsuccessfully contested the 2015 Assembly polls.
All the three municipal corporations -- North, South and East -- in Delhi are controlled by the BJP. Its second list is expected by Saturday while the ruling AAP has announced all its 70 candidates. The Congress is yet to declare its list of candidates. It may be declared on Saturday, a senior Congress leader said.