The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have learnt its lesson from last year's Delhi assembly election debacle when the party managed to win just 23 of the 70 assembly seats.
In the run up to the Lok Sabha elections to be held in April, the Delhi State BJP has decided that this time they would not bar municipal councillors and legislators who have already won a seat for the party from entering the fray.
“The only criteria that the party would look at before distributing ticket will be the winning prospect of the candidates from their respective areas and commitment to the party. This will include winning MCD councillors and MLAs,” said O.P. Kohli, Delhi BJP president.
The state unit has already started its preparations for the Parliamentary elections. Kohli said the Delhi state election committee has already short-listed candidates from the seven parliamentary seats.
“We will send this list to the central election committee which will decide the final candidates. The committee can make additions or deletions to the list prepared by us,” he said.
BJP insiders said the party would try to finalise the list of candidates for Delhi before February 25.
“The central election committee is meeting on February 18 and 19. A decision on Delhi is likely to be taken then,” said a senior BJP leader.
Sources said the short-listed names include former party president Dr Harsh Vardhan and former MP B.L. Sharma from east Delhi, former MP Lal Behari Tiwar and former cricketer Kirti Azad from the North-East, while names of former mayor Meera Kawaria and retired IPS officer C.S. Parcha are doing the rounds for North-West, a reserved constituency.
From the Chandni Chowk seat, the short-listed names include former MP Vijay Goel and Rohini councillor Vijender Gupta, while BJP leader Pawan Sharma and Tughlaqabad MLA Ramesh Bidhuri's candidature are being considered from south Delhi constituency. Goel, however, is keener to get a ticket from the New Delhi constituency instead of Chandni Chowk.
Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra's name is also being considered from New Delhi while Janakpuri MLA Jagdish Mukhi and former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma's son Parvesh Verma is doing the rounds from west Delhi.