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Congress name game begins

delhi Updated: Mar 10, 2009 00:58 IST
Sidhartha Roy

The Congress has prepared its panel of candidates for the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi. While Union Minister of state for Urban Development, Ajay Maken, and sitting East Delhi MP, Sandeep Dikshit, have reportedly found their way uncontested to the panel, there are more than two hopefuls from the other five constituencies.

“Single names have gone for only two constituencies, Maken from New Delhi and Sandeep Dikshit from East Delhi," said a senior Congress leader who didn't wish to be named. While Dikshit is the son of Delhi's Chief Minister, Maken is a known Sheila baiter.

“Post delimitation, the South Delhi constituency has become Gujjar dominated with a large number of MLAs and municipal councillors belonging to the community” he said. Several representatives from the Gujjar community turned up for the screening committee to show support for their candidates.

According to sources, the name of sitting MP from the now-dissolved Outer Delhi constituency, Sajjan Kumar, has been given from the South Delhi constituency. Other contenders are former Delhi Home Minister Yoganand Shastri and Gujjar leaders Balram Singh Tanwar and Chattar Singh.

“Representatives from the Gujjar community wanted Sajjan Kumar, a Jat, to contest from West Delhi, which comprises areas from the former Outer Delhi constituency," he said.

The names finalised for Chandni Chowk constituency are sitting MP Kapil Sibal and Sadar Bazar MP Jagdish Tytler. Tytler's constituency Sadar Bazar too was dissolved after the delimitation process.

Names of Uttam Nagar MLA Mukesh Sharma and former Delhi University Students Union president Alka Lamba have been finalised from the newly created West Delhi constituency. There are three contenders from the North West Delhi constituency, a SC reserved seat: Karol Bagh MP Krishna Tirath, Indian Youth Congress president Ashok Tanwar and Sultanpur Majra MLA Jaikishan.

Four-time MLA from Seelampur, Mateen Ahmed, has been shortlisted from the Northeast Delhi constituency, along with Mustafabad MLA Hasan Ahmed. The Northeast constituency, carved out from the East Delhi constituency, has a sizeable Muslim population.

The names have been finalised by a five member committee of which CM Sheila Dikshit, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president JP Aggarwal and Congress's Delhi election in-charge Mukul Wasnik are members.