After several rounds of discussions and intense lobbying, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released a list of its seven candidates for the national capital in the general elections, with two sitting legislators getting tickets.
Those who made it to the list are - BJP general secretary Vijay Goel from the New Delhi constituency, Chairman of Standing Committee, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Vijendra Gupta from Chandni Chowk, Jagdish Mukhi from west Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri from south Delhi, Meera Kanwaria from northwest Delhi, Chetan Chauhan from east Delhi and B.L. Sharma Prem from northeast Delhi.
During the assembly elections, the BJP had steadfastly denied ticket to MCD councillors which many party leaders termed as suicidal. But this time round, two tickets went to sitting legislators and a councillor.
Goel, who was initially considered for the Chandni Chowk seat, finally managed to convince the central leadership for a ticket from the New Delhi constituency. Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra was also apparently in the race for the ticket from the same area.
“However, ticket to the four-time legislator Jagdish Mukhi (legislator from Janakpuri) and two-time MLA Ramesh Bidhuri (legislator from Tughlakabad) was no surprise,” a BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.
The party says it is almost sure of winning west Delhi and south Delhi seats.
“The main reason is that Mukhi is a Punjabi and west Delhi seat has a sizeable number of Punjabis. In south Delhi, Bidhuri's prospects are bright due to the large presence of Gujjar community members in the area,” the party member said.
Meera Kanwaria being nominated from the northwest Delhi seat, which has become a reserved seat after delimitation, was also almost a given.
Political equations changed in the national capital in the post-delimitation scenario. After the seven constituencies were redrawn, six new seats have been formed but the name of Chandni Chowk seat was retained. The total seats, however, remained seven in number.
The areas of the earlier outer Delhi seat, which was the largest in the city before delimitation, have been distributed into three new seats - northwest Delhi, west Delhi and South.
“Chandni Chowk seat has a good presence of Muslim population in Chandni Chowk, Matia Mahal and Ballimaran area but with Tri Nagar, Wazirpur, Model Town and Sadar Bazar added to it, the equations may well change," a party member said.
Delhi goes to polls May 7.