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Denied tickets, Congmen take to the streets

Congress leaders were crying foul about the lopsided distribution of tickets and alleged favouritism by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chairman Jai Prakash Aggarwal. Anuradha Mukherjee reports.

delhi Updated: Oct 26, 2008 23:37 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

On Saturday, the Congress finalised its list of 53 candidates who would contest the upcoming assembly polls in the city. By Sunday several of its members were crying foul about the lopsided distribution of tickets and alleged favouritism by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chairman Jai Prakash Aggarwal

Some Congress leaders whose names failed to figure among selected candidates like Brahm Yadav from the Rajender Nagar assembly seat even questioned the veracity of the list leaked to the media on Saturday.

"The list is never announced like this. The party has not made an official announcement. It is my demand that I be considered from this seat. This list is not final," said Yadav. Congress chief whip Ramakant Goswami whose seat, Patel Nagar, was declared a reserved seat after delimitation process, has been accommodated from Rajender Nagar.

AICC media cell secretary incharge Tom Vaddakan said that the AICC had not released any list of candidates so far for the Delhi assembly polls. "Only the list issued by AICC is official and it has not made any announcement so far. The final list will be announced after Diwali," said Vaddakan.

The discontent with the list ran deep enough for candidates to approach AICC chief Sonia Gandhi for redressal. Candidates considered close to minister of state for urban development Ajay Maken said they had been overlooked because of their proximity to him.

Yadav said Maken had recommended his name on the basis of a private survey he had commissioned for gauging the reaction of the electorate in the area. Rajouri Garden MLA Ramesh Lamba also felt victimised for his association with Maken. Dayanand Chandila who recently joined Congress after quitting the BJP has been named from Rajouri Garden.

DPCC chief Jai Prakash Aggarwal refused to comment. "We have not announced the list officially so I will not comment on statements," he said.

In South Delhi parliamentary constituency, two sitting councillors of Congress resigned from the party on Sunday protesting the party's decision to give ticket to sitting MLA Ramvir Singh Bidhuri. Hem Chand Goyal, councillor from Badarpur and Rajni Devi from Molarband village have sent their resignation letter to DPCC president JP Aggarwal and party president Sonia Gandhi.

(With inputs from Neelam Pandey)