Delhi: Crucial contest for BJP in by-elections

  • Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 26, 2014 08:54 IST

The Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may have to put up a tough fight to retain the three assembly seats in Delhi as the margin of victory on two of the three seats — Mehrauli and Tughlakabad— were quite low in the 2013 assembly elections.

Soon after the Election Commission announced that by-elections to three Delhi assembly constituencies —which fell vacant after BJP legislators got elected to Lok Sabha — would be held on November 25, the Delhi state unit held an emergency meeting with senior BJP leaders including union health minister Harsh Vardhan, MP Ramesh Bidhuri, Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel and MP from northwest Delhi Udit Raj, to discuss the issue.

Sources in the BJP said that the election committee of the state unit will come out with a list of probable names which will be scrutinised by the central leadership and a final decision will be taken by the central parliamentary committee. Sources in the BJP further said that unlike the assembly elections in 2013, for the BJP, it is the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is the prime opponent and not the Congress.

“The fact that despite the BJP winning all seven parliamentary seats AAP managed to grab the second position is a big concern. We have to ensure that we win the seats by a huge margin,” said a senior BJP leader.

Compared to the assembly elections, in Tughlakabad assembly segment, the winning margin of BJP was only 5,946, which was further reduced during this year’s Lok Sabha elections to 4,775. Similarly, in Mehrauli, during the 2013 assembly elections, AAP candidate Narender Singh Sejwal gave a tough fight to BJP’s Pravesh Verma and lost only by 4,564 votes.

It was only in Krishna Nagar that the winning margin of BJP was 43,150, and though it came down slightly it still stood at 31,265.

“Considering that barely a month is left we have decided to fasttrack the process and within a day or two we will come out with a list of probable names. The entire process will start tomorrow,” said a senior BJP leader.

According to senior BJP leaders, the three assembly seats - Krishna Nagar, Tughlakabad and Mehrauli - are quite crucial as two of them were held by senior BJP leaders.

“The seats will help us find out the voters’ mood and we will be able to know where we stand. If we manage to win the seats by a huge margin it will give a befitting reply to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that has been criticising us especially on the social media,” said a senior BJP leader.

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