Even before Congress could announce its candidate from the New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, a battle for the seat has begun. Congress ticket hopeful Ajay Maken fired his first salvo at BJP candidate Vijay Goel on Friday.
“Vijay Goel is a habitual escapist, a rolling stone. He first contested from Sadar constituency, then moved to Chandni Chowk and has now rejected that constituency to fight from New Delhi,” said Maken, who is Minister of State for Urban Development and sitting MP from New Delhi constituency.
Goel was named BJP candidate from New Delhi by the party on Thursday. Goel said that, post-delimitation, large parts of the erstwhile Sadar constituency had merged with the New Delhi seat and that would help him win.
“Of the total 1,516 booths in the New Delhi constituency, only 70 are from the Sadar constituency. No opponent can be bigger than Jagmohan sahab, whom I defeated in the last election,” Maken said. “I was expecting to fight a political stalwart or a film star this time.”
Countering Goel’s claim that he had done no work for the area, Maken said he got works worth Rs 12 crore sanctioned under his MPLADS fund and works worth Rs 9.2 crore had been completed.
Maken said that though his party hadn’t named him as candidate from New Delhi, he had informed the party about his wish to contest from there. “I would focus on the work I have done in the area. I have divided the constituency into six segments and as a Union Minister or as Delhi’s Transport and Power Minister earlier, I have done something for all these segments,” he said.
“Maken is panicking because I have been named BJP candidate from New Delhi,” countered Goel. “He hasn’t even got a ticket yet and is indulging is such talk instead of debating over issues. Maken has neglected his constituency and there are many complaints against him.”
“I’m a leader of the entire Delhi and not one constituency and I have come here to defeat him,” Goel said.
Maken, however, maintained he was a grassroots leader, so the voters would prefer him. “Because I return to them for votes and I am answerable to them,” he said.