BJP breaks its own ticket rule for MCD elections, fields relatives of leaders
The BJP had promised not to filed relatives of party leaders or sitting councillors in the Delhi MCD elections.MCD Elections 2017 Updated: Apr 04, 2017 16:57 IST
A look at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s list of candidates for the Delhi civic elections reveals the party has failed to keep its promise to not give tickets to the family members of sitting councillors or party office-bearers.
The BJP released its second and final list of 112 candidates on Monday, the last day of filing nominations for the April 23 election. It had named 160 candidates on Sunday. Of these, five seats have been given to ally Shiromani Akali Dal.
Delhi has 272 wards spread across south, north and east municipal corporations, which are all controlled by the BJP.
An analysis of the list shows the BJP preferred family members of party leaders and workers, a clear deviation from its public position.
North-west Delhi MP Udit Raj’s nephew, Vijay, is in the fray from Mangolpuri-B ward.
Quresh Nagar ward candidate Rubina is the daughter of councillor Hoor Bano Ismail. Her son, Imran Ismail, too, has represented the same ward.
Similarly, Kamlesh Devi is the sister-in-law of Bir Singh, who is the Madanpur Khadar (West) councillor. After delimitation, the ward has been reserved for women. Devi’s husband, Brahm Singh, had fought and lost the assembly election from Okhla.
In Wazirpur, councillor Poonam Sharma’s relative, Harish, Sharma has been fielded by the BJP. Harish is also the “mandal vice president” of the area. Poonam’s father-in-law, Suresh Bhardwaj, was also the local councillor.
At least 24 candidates are related to the state or district BJP office-bearers. The party, which talked about fielding fresh and young faces, has chosen four candidates who are above 60.
The Bhajanpura candidate Gurjeet Kaur is the wife of Kulwant Singh Baath, who is the Delhi BJP vice president. Delhi BJP secretary Gajendra Yadav’s wife will contest from Mehrauli.
Meenakshi Beniwal, wife of block president Revinder Beniwal, is a contestant from Kohat Enclave, while Vina Virmani is the candidate from Ramesh Nagar. Vina is the wife of Gulshan Virmani, the officer on special duty to union minister Harsh Vardhan.
Colonel BK Oberoi (retired) is 70 and in the running from Rajouri Garden. “Apart from him, Tilak Raj Kataria (Shalimar Bagh-South), Jogi Ram Jain (Kamla Nagar) and Vina (Ramesh Nagar) are also above 60,” said a source.
At least 12 district officer-bearers, too, have been awarded with tickets.
Defending the choice of candidates, Delhi BJP general secretary Kuljeet Singh Chahal said the main consideration was winnability and those who picked were diligent party workers.
“We never said officer-bearers or their relatives will not be considered for tickets. It is an effort to put up a successful show by bringing all workers on the same platform. As per my knowledge, no close relative of any sitting councillor has been allowed to contest on party’s symbol,” Chahal said.