Kitchen politics of the Sharma household seems to have come out in the open. East Delhi’s Pandav Nagar will see two sister-in-laws compete against each other to become the area councillor.
While the Congress has fielded the sitting councillor’s wife Renu Sharma, her sister-in-law Sarita has filed her nomination as an independent candidate. Sources said Sarita was hoping to get a Congress ticket after the seat was reserved for women. But at the last moment, her name was dropped.
“The last date for withdrawal is tomorrow. One can always withdraw from the fray. My wife has been serving the party for many years and she is the rightful candidate,” said Saranjit Sharma, Renu’s husband.
When HT contacted Sarita’s family, her daughter said Sarita will not withdraw from the election. “There is a lot of pressure on my mother to withdraw but she is set on contesting the polls,” said her daughter Anita.
This may be the first case of family members competing against each other after being denied a ticket, but rebels contesting against their former party colleagues is nothing new. This poll season has seen its own set of rebels. For instance in Subhash Nagar, Rajiv Behl, the block president of the area, has fielded his wife against the Congress’s official candidate Manju Setia. In Rampura, sitting councillor Manoj Yadav’s wife Geeta will be contesting against the Congress district president Kusum Chaudhary.
It’s the same story in the BJP too. Its sitting councillor of New Ashok Nagar Prabha Singh will be contesting against its official candidate Nikki Singh.
Many sitting councillors who could not get a ticket have fielded their wives as independents. In Palam, sitting councillor Vijay Pandit has fielded his wife Seema.
In Mansarovar Park, councillor Raj Kumar Khurana has fielded his wife Anju as an independent candidate.
Party leaders have been making frantic calls to these candidates to get them to withdraw from the fray. “These independents lower the chances of the party candidate. We are trying to placate them. A number of them have agreed to withdraw their names,” said a senior Congress candidate.