The BJP’s strategy to officially come out with its list of candidates for the MCD polls post-midnight backfired and how. Later in the day, many miffed candidates and party workers chose to resign from the party.
Several filed nomination papers as independents. A number of councillors who had held important positions in the current MCD house found their names missing from the list. Though many chose not to comment on it, others turned rebellious.
Meanwhile, president of Delhi BJP Vijender Gupta’s wife Shobha managed to get a party ticket from her husband's ward, despite being embroiled in a controversy surrounding her NGO. But she was not the only spouse to score a ticket. There were others too.
For instance, wives of sitting councillors Ramesh Chauhan from Jahangirpuri, Rakesh Gulaiya from Chirag Delhi, Praveen Jain from Deputy Ganj, Shyam Lal from Idgah, Rajpal from Pul Pehladpur.
Daughters-in-law too made their mark. Daughters-in-law of councillors Jai Bhagwaan from Begumpur, Suresh Bhardwaj from Bawana, Devender Katiyal from Tagore Garden and Brahm Prakash from Sarita Vihar managed to get a ticket. Also, Qasabpura councillor Imran Ismail’s mother also figured in the BJP list.
But the fact that emerges from the list is that the party focused more on fielding fresh faces rather than taking into account the ‘winnability’ of the sitting councillors.
It has repeated only 57 of the sitting 170 councillors and left out 115 of them. Sources said that 50-odd seats have been allotted to the leaders' wives and relatives.
“But only 15 seats were given to the family of sitting councillors. The remaining 35 went to the wives and relatives of senior party leaders and office bearers. Most councillors are unhappy with the ticket distribution. Many are planning to spoil the chances of our candidates,” said a senior BJP leader.
A number of councillors such as Prabha Singh from New Ashok Nagar, Harish Awathi from Rithala, Sudesh Bhasin from Rani Bagh and the wife of sitting councillor Raj Kumar Khurana have filed nominations as independent candidates. Another BJP candidate Vijay Pandit from Palam has filed his nomination on Indian National Lok Dal’s ticket.
“My seat is still reserved for a woman candidate but the party did not consider me. I’ve served this area for five years and the selected candidate does not even belong to this area. How are they sure she will win? If I contest as an independent, there are good of my success as the area residents know me well,” said Prabha Singh, one of BJP rebels.
The trifurcated MCD goes to polls on April 15. The results will be declared on April 17.