Sitting MP and former Delhi Congress chief Jai Prakash Agarwal has won the Northeast Delhi primary by defeating former MLA Rajesh Lilothia.
But his candidature is still not certain as a section of Congress leaders are demanding that the party allot the seat to a Muslim and lobbied for Seelampur MLA Mateen Ahmed.
Agarwal, who had defeated BJP candidate BL Sharma by more than 2.2 lakh votes in the 2009 elections, won the primary by a comfortable margin of 205 votes. Of the 299 valid votes, Agarwal polled 252.
Sitting MP Ajay Maken had remained unopposed in the primary for New Delhi seat.
Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh is likely to send a panel of possible candidates for all seven seats in Delhi to the party’s central election committee (CEC). The CEC on March 7 had asked the state leadership to review the popularity and winnability of sitting MPs and come up with a fresh list of possible candidates for all seats. While the state leadership had suggested that all sitting MPs be repeated in Delhi, sources said the central leadership is exploring the possibility of changing the candidates on 2-3 constituencies.
Sources said the central leadership had got a survey done on the work and popularity of sitting MPs. The survey has names of 2-3 potential candidates on all seats. Sources said the central leadership has also sought views from the state leaders on those names.
The state Congress leaders, however, said they had received a number of applications from party leaders who were interested in contesting elections from different seats. The party had received most number of applications from Northwest Delhi, West Delhi and South Delhi constituencies.
Former minister Raj Kumar Chauhan and four-term MLA Jai Kishan have shown interest in contesting from Northwest Delhi. Sources said Kishan had met AICC general secretary in-charge for Delhi Shakeel Ahmed on Monday in this regard.
“We have prepared a panel of 3-4 candidates for each seat for the CEC meeting on Wednesday,” a senior Delhi Congress leader said.