The first list of BJP candidates for Delhi came as a setback for several workers of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the RSS and VHP.
BJP leaders Madan Lal Khurana, Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Sahib Singh Verma announced that the list had been drawn after considering “all factors” and that “all” had been accommodated — noisy scenes of protest at the party headquarters on Wednesday evening, however, suggested otherwise.
Though old RSS hands like Ram Bhaj, Poornima Sethi, Harsh Vardhan and Naresh Gaur have been accommodated, some other names that the Sangh is believed to have been pushing for, do not figure in the list. Among them are Yashpal Arya and Virendra Goyal. Former transport minister Rajendra Gupta, a man with strong RSS links, too couldn’t make it.
From the VHP, Rajnish Goenka had been a front runner for the Kalkaji ticket. He hasn’t made it. The BJP also has denied seats to the Shiv Sena, a long time ally in Maharashtra. The Akali Dal has got four seats though the names and constituencies were not announced.
The BJYM expressed anguish and shock over its “neglect”. BJYM chief Satish Upadhyay was asking for a ticket from Hauz Khas but he was refused. The party favoured Arati Mehra, a sitting councillor despite its stance that no sitting councillor would be given tickets.
Four former DUSU presidents — Ashish Sood, Jaiveer Rana, Rekha Gupta and Yogesh Sharma, having links with the Sangh, ABVP and now the BJYM, were also denied tickets. “It was a hush hush affair and tickets were decided after deliberating only for an hour on Wednesday,” alleged a senior BJYM leader.