The BJP is looking to field fresh faces and more women from Delhi even as it struggles to come out with its first list of Lok Sabha candidates for the Capital.
Prominent among the BJP probables for Delhi are former union minister Subramanian Swamy, journalist MJ Akbar, former diplomat Hardeep Puri and Art of Living’s Mahesh Giri. Former IRS officer Udit Raj who joined the BJP recently and party’s young faces — Vani Tripathi, Meenakshi Lekhi and Nalin Kohli are also being considered.
The BJP may announce the list on Thursday. “President Rajnath Singh held consultations with Delhi BJP leaders in the evening and filtered the names of probable candidates. We are hoping an announcement on Thursday,” a BJP leader said.
Delhi goes to polls on April 10 and March 22 is the last day to file nominations.
The push for fresh faces has been prompted by AAP’s success with new leaders.
Sources said BJP will likely field journalist MJ Akbar or BJP’s national secretary Vani Tripathi, an actor, from the north-east Delhi seat.”Both are clean faces and have a reputation in their respective fields,” a BJP leader said.
Similarly, Subramanian Swamy and Meenakshi Lekhi are probable for the New Delhi seat.
Diplomat Hardeep Puri is being considered to contest from west Delhi. “Akali Dal wants to fields its own candidate on this seat. The BJP, however, is not in a mood to give this seat to its partner,” sources said.
Art of Living’s Mahesh Giri and Udit Raj, who recently merged his Indian Justice Party with the BJP, are probable from East Delhi. Party’s chief ministerial candidate Dr Hasrh Vardhan was also requested to consider contesting the national election from this seat, but he declined.
Former Delhi BJP chief Ijendra Gupta is the front runner on Chandi Chowk seat though Nalin Kohli, a TV personality-turned-politician, is also seeking a ticket to take on Ashutosh of AAP, another journalist-turned-politician.
Businessmen Sudhanshu Mittal is another claimant.
South Delhi Mayor Sarita Chouwdhury and Mehrauli MLA Pravesh Saheb Singh are probable from South Delhi while former MP Anita Arya and Yogendra Chandoliya are probable from reserved constituency of north-west Delhi.