Except for Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), other coalition partners of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the national level — Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Janata Dal (United) — might not be able to begin their electoral innings in the Capital.
The BJP was expected to announce its list of candidates to the 70-member Assembly on Friday. Sources said the party’s central election committee (CEC) had finalised names for most of the 70 seats.
“In majority of the seats, the candidates were finalised by consensus. We might announce the list tomorrow,” said a party source.
Delhi BJP president Dr Harsh Vardhan said: “The party’s state screening committee will meet tomorrow morning to formalise the list of candidates to 70 seats. Once we formalise, we will go to the CEC. A final announcement will be made after the CEC gives its green signal.”
Vardhan said of the 70 seats, the party had decided to give ticket to SAD candidates from Rajouri Garden, Adarsh Nagar, Shahdara and Jangpura. Also, SAD would be asked to contest with the BJP symbol.
This might not go down well with SAD leaders. “We have demanded tickets from at least 10 Sikh and Punjabi-dominated seats. What is the point of giving us tickets from seats where our winning chances are negligible?” said Manjit Singh, SAD’s Delhi president. SAD was given four tickets in the 2003 assembly polls but it lost all the four seats.
BJP sources said the party would not give tickets to either INLD or Janata Dal (United). “These parties do not have any presence in the city. Of the 70 seats, 19 sitting MLAs might get tickets, while for other seats former party leaders, party workers and newcomers will be given priority. Former BJP MP Anita Arya might be given a ticket from Patel Nagar seat,” said a Delhi BJP leader.