Delhi is all set to get a woman mayor once again. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced Rajani Abbi as its mayoral candidate on Tuesday. Wednesday is the last day of filing nominations.
First-time municipal councillor - elected from Mukherjee Nagar ward - Abbi is being seen as an answer to Sheila Dikshit's charisma. With the MCD going to polls in February 2012, sources said the BJP leadership wanted a sophisticated face to lead the party in the elections.
Arti Mehra was the mayor of Delhi for two years in succession in this term of BJP's rule in MCD. A professor from Delhi University, Abbi has been the deputy chairman in the standing committee and is claimed to have raised various important issues in the House.
"We wanted to have a well-educated person leading the campaign and having right impact on voters and also an answer to Sheila Dikshit. Despite being a first time councillor, the leadership has felt that Abbi can deliver," a senior BJP leader said on the condition of anonymity.
Though some party leaders expressed their unhappiness on giving a woman candidate chance, despite the fact that the mayor's seat is unreserved this year, sources said that the central party leadership reposed its faith in the choice made by Delhi BJP president Vijendra Gupta.
The BJP also nominated another first-time councillor Anil Sharma as its deputy mayor candidate. Party sources said the senior leaders wanted young candidates to lead the party in Delhi. Meanwhile, sitting mayor Prithvi Raj Sawhney has been appointed as vice-president of Delhi unit of the party. The BJP has also decided to retain Yogender Chandolia as chairman of the standing committee. His tenure ends on April 30.
The Congress, on the other hand, announced Savita Sharma and N Raja for mayor and deputy mayor, respectively.