The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a jolt on Wednesday as the nomination of its eight candidates for the April 23 municipal election were rejected by the election commission on Wednesday.
The papers of back-up candidates were also cancelled in four wards--East Vinod Nagar, Kishanganj, Abul Fazal Enclave, and Bapraula, which means the party will have no official contestants on at least four of the 272 municipal seats. A senior BJP leader said the party may now support independent contestants on these seats.
Apart from the BJP, the nomination of the Congress nominee from Dwarka A ward, Sudha Sharma was also cancelled.
JDU leaders said the nomination of their candidates from Sitapuri, Madanpur khadar, Rajouri Garden and Trilokpuri wards have been cancelled.
Swaraj India leaders said while they were still “collecting information” as they fear cancellation of nomination of about 20 candidates.
The BJP candidates, whose nomination were rejected by the returning officers, are Sanju Bala (Bapraula), Jamal Haidar (Abul Fazal Enclave), Monika Chhabra (Kishan Ganj), and Ravinder Negi (East Vinod Nagar).
Sources in the party said the objections were raised in as many as 16 wards of which candidature in eight wards were rejected. “The party managed to retain four wards as the papers of covering candidates were found to be correct. The series of cancellation of candidatures certainly raises question mark on those who were monitoring nomination process. This is not normal particularly in East Vinod Nagar ward where the application of proxy contestant was also disallowed. We can’t rule out sabotage,” a party leader said.
The news of the rejection of nomination sent the party leadership into a tizzy. The state unit chief Manoj Tiwari has decided to set up an enquiry into the matter.
Tiwari told HT that the reports of cancellations were disturbing and it calls for an enquiry. “We made sincere efforts to pick the best candidates. The matter should be investigated properly to ascertain the exact reason behind the fiasco. I will seek a report,” he said.
Nomination of Babli Chandela ( Khayala) was cancelled as she was barred by the State Election Commission from contesting polls. She had not filed expenditure details of her previous election. The party could secure this ward with the covering candidate Sunita Yadav. Similarly, the party managed to retain Wazirpur ward because of a stand-by candidate.
A section of party leaders are blaming the state leadership for the fiasco and questioned the delay in the announcing names for 272 wards. Three lists were released on Monday, the last date of filing of nomination, just three hours before the deadline of submitting applications.
“The covering candidates in a few wards saved the party from a major embarrassment. The responsible officer bearers should be questioned. Party president Amit Shah has approved the final list of 106 candidates at around 11 am on Monday but the names were released in batches after 3.30 pm. Why did they take so long to prepare a list?,” asked a party leader.
He said there are allegations that a few names were replaced at the eleventh hour, hence the list got delayed. “The matter should be properly probed whether this was mischief by some anti-party elements. It will tarnish the party’s image cause embarrassment,” the leader said.