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BJP heavyweights seem safe

delhi Updated: Nov 07, 2008 23:26 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
Moushumi Das Gupta
Hindustan Times
BJP heavyweights seem safe

Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) chief ministerial candidate, VK Malhotra, is likely to contest from Greater Kailash assembly segment. To take on CM Sheila Dikshit in the New Delhi segment, the party is likely to field Saket MLA Vijay Jolly. Even trade association president Praveen Khandelwal is likely to contest on a BJP ticket from Chandni Chowk.

BJP's State Election Committee (SEC), which has been set up to shortlist candidates to the Delhi assembly elections, has almost finalised most of the candidates to be fielded for the 70 assembly seats.

However, when asked if candidates to the 70 seats had been finalised, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Delhi State BJP president, feigned ignorance. He said that a final announcement is most likely to be made on Saturday after the party's Central Parliamentary Board endorses the SEC's list. "The Parliamentary Board is meeting again tomorrow to finalise the recommendations made by the SEC. We might announce the full and final list after that," he said.

According to party sources, apart from the 19 sitting MLAs, who will be given tickets, some prominent names that have almost been cleared include former Member of Parliament Anita Arya from Patel Nagar and actress Vani Tripathi from Vikaspuri.

Parvesh Verma, son of former Delhi CM Sahib Singh Verma might be given a ticket from Mundka. Sources said that former MP Vijay Goel, who is also a member of SEC, is strongly opposing Khandelwal's candidature.

Jai Bhagwan Aggarwal, sitting MLA from Badli, might be given a ticket from the newly carved out Rohini seat.

Over half-a-dozen former MLAs' names also finds mention in the SEC's list. These include Ram Bhaj from Malviya Nagar, Naresh Gaur from Babarpur and Alok Kumar from Rohtas Nagar, who, if fielded, will take on former Delhi Congress president Ram Babu Sharma.

Four seats have been given to Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

Sources said that the SEC's list has only named four female candidates. These include Anita Arya, Vani Tripathi, Vishakha Shailani and Talat Sultana. "The Parliamentary Board might insist on including four or five more female candidates. Then a few names from the existing list might have to be dropped," said a party leader. BJP's yet to decide on candidates from Narela, Burari, Timarpur and Kirari seats.