MCD elections: Delhi athlete, dhaba owner among 33,000 BJP ticket aspirants
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision to not field sitting councillor or their relatives this time has given hope to first-timers, amateur politicians and those who want to join politics.delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2017 13:21 IST
The temperature outside is unusually hot for a March afternoon in Delhi but Balwan Singh, a gold medalist para-athlete, is waiting in the queue determined to submit his resume.
Singh,36, is not alone. A dhaba owner, a Delhi university student and a fashion designer are among the thousands aspiring to get a BJP ticket to contest the municipal elections on April 23.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision to not field sitting councillor or their relatives this time has given hope to first-timers, amateur politicians and those who want to join politics. The party has received over 33,000 applications for 272 seats --- 121 for each.
The party had set March 20 as the last date for receiving ticket applications but the queues haven’t abated. A Delhi BJP spokesperson said they are accepting applications past the last date of submission.
With a seven-page resume, including news clippings about his victories – Singh wants to personally hand over the resume to Delhi BJP chief, actor-turned-politician, Manoj Tiwari.
“Apart from being an athlete, I am also a social worker. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with para-olympic athletes encouraged disabled people like me. Now, because the party has decided not to give tickets to sitting councillors, I think it is an opportunity for people like me,” said Singh, who won the Gold medal in 2006 and 2010 Asian Para games.
Tribhuvan Nath Chaubey,47, runs a paratha stall in Satya Niketan. He says he has been a BJP foot soldier since childhood. “I had not got a chance to contest elections. I am a BA (Hons) graduate too. I am 47 but to date I had not got a chance. Now, with Amit Shahji giving us the opportunity, I will contest and win the elections.”
Almost everyone in the queue has a neat resume, in crisp A4 size sheets, with the BJP’s symbol – a lotus – printed prominently on every page. “It is to impress the bosses,” a woman says.
One of the youngest faces in the queue is Abhishek, 22. “I am a second-year law student and an ABVP member. The party has promised to empower the youth, so here I am competing with all the experienced candidates. It’s a tough fight.”
Nidhi Malhotra, a Kalkaji resident is a fashion designer. A first timer, who has not contested any election till date, she said,” The experienced candidates never gave us a chance. But now we see some hope of getting into politics and serving the country.”
One of the oldest persons waiting in the sweltering heat is Indira Bhardwaj,59, who says she has been a party member since 1987. Bhardwaj is unsure but is hopeful, 2017 is her year.
“Previously, the wives and relatives of councillors got tickets but the rule has changed. I have served the party for over 30 years now. If I don’t get a chance this time, I know I will never get it,” Bhardwaj.