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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Delhi: BJP still blank on Lok Sabha candidates

Neelam Pandey , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 10, 2014
First Published: 01:01 IST(10/3/2014) | Last Updated: 01:32 IST(10/3/2014)

They may have been making all the right noises with their aggressive election campaign, led by their prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi on the national-level. But in Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to make its presence felt.

Even though only a month remains before Delhi elects its Members of Parliament, hardly any campaign activity could be seen on the part of the BJP. The biggest hurdle seems to be the selection of candidates. While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has already announced five candidates of the seven seats in the Capital, the Congress is also conducting primaries and selecting candidates.

However, the BJP — which emerged as the single largest party in the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections — is yet to come out with even a single name. According to senior BJP leaders, candidates will be announced after March 13 as the Central Election Committee meeting is scheduled for the date.

With no clarity over candidate selection, the party has not been able to start campaigning. Senior leaders point out that as candidates are yet to be declared they are not able to start work on posters or billboards. Posters of Modi are visible at a few stretches and but no local effort could be seen.

“At every nook and corner of the city you can find posters, billboards of Rahul Gandhi. But the visibility of BJP has taken a hit in the Lok Sabha elections. Even the workers are not sure of the campaign strategy. Naturally, campaigning can’t be taken up in an organised manner,” said a senior BJP leader.

Even for the 2013 assembly elections, BJP had announced the names of the candidates after AAP, something which many felt helped AAP fare better.

“There are only seven seats on which they need to decide on compared to the 70 seats in the assembly elections. But still it is getting delayed. When workers go out to campaign they are asked who are the candidates and they don’t have an answer. The stakes are much higher for the BJP but still it is yet to pick up momentum,” said a senior BJP leader.


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