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Cong list leaked, protests follow

delhi Updated: Nov 10, 2008 00:37 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee
Anuradha Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
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With only two days left for filing nominations, Congress leaders were left speculating on the probable candidates for the 22 Delhi assembly seats. The party is yet to make an announcement.

The Congress was expected to announce the list on Sunday noon. By noon, however, several names were leaked and pandemonium broke loose.

Burari MLA Jile Singh Chauhan’s supporters gathered outside the AICC office to protest against his reported non-inclusion among the 70 candidates who would contest the elections. The protest turned so violent that the police had to resort to mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd.

“Some names were leaked to party members in the noon and local workers got to know that I would not be given a ticket. These were people who had assisted Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her son, MP Sandeep Dikshit, win elections. I have worked as the area MLA for 10 years. Let them field Deepak Tyagi. Can he win?” posed Chauhan.

Fourteen names were doing the rounds in Congress circles. Health minister Yoganand Shastri was named as the choice from the Mehrauli seat, while Tarwinder Marwah was reported to be the candidate from Jangpura where veteran city leader Tajdar Babar was also a contender.

“Fielding Shastri from Mehrauli does not make sense. There is hardly any Jat vote there. This is one of the Gujjar dominated seats,” said a party insider.

Similarly, former Union minister Buta Singh’s son Ravinder Singh Lovely (Deoli), IPS officer Amod Kanth (Sangam Vihar), Ramesh Lamba (Hari Nagar), Deepak Tyagi (Burari), Vijender Jindal (Rohini), Rajesh Jain (Sadar), Mehmood Zia (Matia Mahal), JS Rana (Narela), Shabnam Riaz (Kirari), P.C. Kaushik (Mundka), Bhisham Sharma (Ghonda) and Anil Vashishth from Babarpur were the other names.

DPCC chairman Jai Prakash Aggarwal, however, called the protests unnecessary as the official list was yet to be announced.

“Jile Singh is a senior leader and has been an MLA for 10 years. If he had a problem, he could speak to me or the chief minister,” he added.

“This is an ill thought out list. They have merely looked at personal equations, not a candidate’s ability to win,” said Chauhan.