Suspense deepens over two Congress seats | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Suspense deepens over two Congress seats

With the Congress high command taking its time over the declaration of the names of the two replacement candidates from Northeast and South Delhi, political circles were full of speculations about the probable names and spoilers.

delhi Updated: Apr 16, 2009 01:26 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

With the Congress high command taking its time over the declaration of the names of the two replacement candidates from Northeast and South Delhi, political circles were full of speculations about the probable names and spoilers.

The latest name to surface is that of Ramesh Kumar, brother of Sajjan Kumar, who had been named the candidate from the South Delhi Lok Sabha seat. Ramesh Kumar was elected to represent the Shahbad Daulatpur seat in Northwest Delhi in the Delhi assembly in 1998. In the subsequent election in 2003, however, he was unable to repeat his win. In 2008, the party denied him a ticket to contest the assembly elections.

In the last few days, Delhi Congress chief Jai Prakash Aggarwal and Delhi Assembly speaker Yoganand Shastri were tipped to be the front-runners from Northeast and South Delhi LS seats that Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, respectively, were supposed to represent. Tytler and Sajjan Kumar’s candidature was withdrawn by the Congress after protests by the Sikh community.

“Yoganand Shastri’s name was suggested. But Sajjan Kumar has put his foot down. He earlier wanted the ticket for his son, Jagpravesh, now he wants it for his brother, Ramesh Kumar. But South Delhi is not a very simple constituency with BSP’s presence. And no matter who gets the ticket, the candidate will have to work doubly hard,” said a Congress MP, requesting anonymity. He, however, dismissed BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri as a lightweight.

Some sources said Sajjan Kumar’s demand was being considered seriously, as being the sitting MP from Outer Delhi, he had considerable influence in four Parliamentary constituencies of the city. “Northwest, South and West Delhi were part of the Outer Delhi constituency, but even Chandni Chowk has a large chunk of Outer Delhi voters. The party would want to keep him in good humour so he participates fully in the campaigns,” said another insider. The party is now waiting for Sonia Gandhi to take the final call.