The Congress list of 48 names for the Assembly polls announced on Wednesday has set many in the party thinking that chief minister Sheila Dikshit had her way completely as far as selection of candidates was concerned.
To begin with, Kiran Walia’s selection from the Malviya Nagar seat is being seen as an endorsement of Dikshit’s choice by the high command. Walia, who is considered close to the CM, trumped health minister Yoganand Shastri who was eying the same seat.
Shastri may now have to contest from the Narela seat. Sheila detractor Bhrampal was also dropped from the Trilokpuri seat despite having won in three consecutive Assembly polls.
“More than anything else, it is the way she (Dikshit) had kept Maken out of the selection process that has put a question mark on his claim as a chief ministerial candidate,” said a Congress insider.
No candidate supported by New Delhi MP Ajay Maken has been able to make it to the list of 48 other than obvious ones like Dikshit herself.
Candidates like Brahm Yadav, who was hoping to get a ticket from Rajinder Nagar, failed to get the ticket despite being a rural vote puller. At least three villages fall under this seat.
Dikshit was also said to have tripped a few candidates recommended by DPCC chairman Jai Prakash Aggarwal.
Party general secretary Suresh Malik, who was the probable candidate from Hari Nagar, was reportedly being pushed by Aggarwal, but the decision on the seat was left pending.
Aggarwal, however, said, “No candidate is a personal friend. We all make recommendations and may agree or disagree. The final list is decided by the AICC.”