Two MLAs head to Parliament, leave race for 2 seats wide open | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Two MLAs head to Parliament, leave race for 2 seats wide open

delhi Updated: Aug 19, 2009 23:19 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

The electoral battle has begun once again—at least for two Assembly seats vacated by Congress leaders who have moved on as Members of Parliament. The two vacant seats are Dwarka and Okhla assembly segments.

But leaders are still trying to hold on to turfs they have cultivated over many years, by asking for tickets for their sons, brothers and other relatives.

While Mahabal Mishra who was the MLA from the Dwarka seat is now the West Delhi MP, Pervez Hashmi, considered unbeatable from the Okhla seat which he represented as an MLA, is now a Rajya Sabha MP.

Mishra is apparently trying to push for the candidature of his son, Vinay Mishra, or his brother, Hira Mishra.

Mishra, who went onto pull a surprise win from the West Delhi LS seat that was considered lost to the BJP by many in the party, has already started campaigning for the Congress – and some would say his kin – in the area.

However, on record he is willing only to profess subservience to the party line. “Whoever the party high command, the state leadership and the Chief Minister chooses, will be acceptable to me,” said Mishra.

On the other end, Hashmi, a former Delhi government minister, is pushing the candidature of his son, Farhan, from the Okhla assembly seat. Hashmi, however, was not available for comment.

“The other big name in fray is Farhad Suri who apart from being a former mayor of Delhi, is also the son of old Congress hand in the city, Tajdar Babar,” said a party source.

“The family is said to be quite consequential because of their proximity to Ahmed Patel, who is the political secretary to Cong president Sonia Gandhi .”

Other leaders in the running include names like Alka Lamba, DPCC general secretary Naresh Kumar and Delhi women’s Congress chief Abha Chaudhry.