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Delhi polls: President’s daughter keen to contest polls from GK seat

delhi Updated: Nov 21, 2014 00:56 IST
Atul Mathur

President Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter and danseuse Sharmistha Mukherjee is likely to contest the upcoming Delhi assembly elections from Greater Kailash.

Mukherjee had taken primary membership of Delhi Congress early this year and has been active in agitations against the government on issues such as power cuts and water crisis.

She was also associated with ‘Give Back Our Playgrounds’, a movement started by children in south Delhi who were demanding the right to play in ornamental parks.

The Congress has only recently started inviting applications from party workers keen on contesting this time. Mukherjee has already starting holding meetings with Congress supporters, resident welfare associations and influential groups in her area.

“If the party nominates me, I am willing to contest,” Mukherjee told Hindustan Times. “I will continue to campaign for the party even if somebody else is named from the area. The idea is to win that seat for the Congress.”

A mix of posh residential pockets such as Greater Kailash I and II, Panchsheel Park and CR Park and urban villages of Shahpur Jat, Zamrudpur and Chirag Dilli, the Greater Kailash assembly segment has always been a BJP stronghold.

The 2013 assembly elections, however, saw a major turnaround and debutant Aam Aadmi Party wrested the seat from the BJP. Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj went on to become one of the six ministers in Arvind Kejriwal’s 49-day government and held the important portfolio of transport. AAP sources said, Bhardwaj is likely to be their candidate in the upcoming elections too.

In 2013, BJP’s Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the then sitting MLA from Greater Kailash, vacated his seat for his son Ajay. The gamble, however, did not pay off and Ajay lost the election by a huge margin. Keen to win as many seats this time as possible, BJP, said sources, is on the lookout for a new candidate. Sources said former Delhi Mayor Aarti Mehra, former South Delhi Mayor Sarita Chaudhary, former MLA Vijay Jolly, veteran party leader LK Advani’s daughter Pratibha and chief of party’s RWA cell Pankaj Wadhawan are few leaders in the reckoning.

The Congress, on the other hand, will have to make a choice between Mukherjee and two former councillors Veerendra Kasana and Jitendra Kochar apart from some other local Jat leaders.