The infighting among the leaders yet again resulted in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failing to announce its Lok Sabha candidates from Delhi on Wednesday.
Senior Delhi BJP leaders, including state chief O.P. Kohli, met BJP president Rajnath Singh on Wednesday urging him to declare the final list of candidates soon. The leaders told Singh that the delay in announcing the list was demoralising party workers. “There is an air of uncertainty which is affecting the morale of party workers. They are yet to start preparations for the campaigning as there is no clear direction from the top leadership,” said a BJP leader.
He added, “We have told the central leadership to announce whatever names they think proper at the earliest. Any more delay will only hurt the party’s poll prospects in Delhi.”
Party insiders said very few party workers were attending the meetings being organised to work out the campaign strategy for the elections. “There is hardly any enthusiasm among the workers, despite the party holding meetings every week to discuss and plan the campaign for each of the seven parliamentary seats,” said a party insider.
Kohli said, "We have given whatever inputs we could to the central leadership on the selection of candidates. We do not have any role now. It is now up to the central leadership to take a final decision.”
Sources said party leaders failed to resolve the controversy surrounding the New Delhi seat even on Wednesday with both candidates—former MP Vijay Goel and Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra—adamant on their candidature from the seat. Failure to finalise this has resulted in the party not announcing its candidates from the remaining six Lok Sabha seats as well where the candidatures have more or less been decided.
Tughlaqabad MLA Ramesh Bidhuri is likely to be fielded from South Delhi, Meera Kanwaria from Northwest, Parvesh Verma from West, Vijender Gupta from Chandni Chowk, Dr Harsh Vardhan from East and former cricketer Chetan Chauhan from Northeast Delhi.