Here is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.
Neither the Congress nor Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has issued a list of candidates for the seven Lok Sabha seats in the Capital. But the campaigning has already begun.
Take the VIP constituency of New Delhi. Sitting Congress MP Ajay Maken swung into election mode in January — much before poll dates were announced.
“I am a sitting MP and am building my campaign on a positive vote on the basis of the work I have done,” explains Maken, who has been sending out pamphlets to the babus in Sarojini Nagar and R K Puram listing out all that he has done in the last five years and as a transport minister in the Delhi government.
Other leaders, like BJP’s Vijay Goel and B L Prem (both former MPs) and Congress’ Kapil Sibal, Sajjan Kumar and Sandip Dikshit (all sitting MPs), have also hit the campaign trail.
Goel has been frequently seen at Residents’ Welfare Association meetings in Maken’s constituency over the last two months — doing the groundwork to stake his claim for a ticket from here. All this despite BJP’s keenness on fielding Hema Malini from here. “I began early as I am certain that the party would recognise my hard work and grant me a ticket from here,” he said.
Similarly, sitting Delhi BJP MLAs Ramesh Bidhuri and Jagdish Mukhi have hit the road with door-to-door campaigns and public meetings.
Congress MPs Sibal and Dikshit have also been addressing public rallies and meeting voters in their constituencies for a few weeks now. Outer Delhi MP Sajjan Kumar, vying for a South Delhi ticket, addressed a rally in the area last week.
Political commentator Manoranjan Mohanty said: “These leaders are active members of the party. Apart from themselves, they are also campaigning for their parties. It’s not premature.”