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Continuing protests by its workers over ticket distribution has forced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to delay announcing the names for the remaining eight seats.
In a setback for the BJP, former south Delhi mayor Savita Gupta, councillor from Amar Colony, resigned from the party’s primary membership in a huff on Friday and joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). “I did not resign because I did not get a ticket but because I was upset with the way tickets were distributed. They have simply been given to senior leaders’ close aides,” she said.
AAP spokesperson Manish Sisodia confirmed the move and said many more would be joining the party.
Dissatisfied at being denied a ticket, Harsharan Singh Balli, four-time MLA from Hari Nagar, quit from the primary membership from the party. Azad Singh, mayor of north Delhi, had also resigned from his post and is now threatening to resign from the party. Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel said, “I am confident that we will be able to persuade the two leaders to take back their resignations,” he said.
The BJP had announced 58 names in its first list on Wednesday. Since then, dissatisfied workers and leaders had been protesting at the party office and elsewhere.
BJP sources told HT that the party was now hoping to pacify the dissatisfied workers by accommodating them in the remaining eight seats. “Every seat is being scrutinised carefully to ensure some of the voices can be accommodated,” said a senior BJP leader.
To ensure their candidate, advocate Surya Prakash Khatri, was not denied a ticket from Timarpur, a group of lawyers from the Bar Council of Delhi protested outside the residence of Delhi election in charge Nitin Gadkari. “The party is planning to give this ticket to councillor Rajni Abbi, who is close to the senior brass. This is unfair. Tickets should be given only on a candidate’s ability to win and performance,” said a protestor.
Supporters of Imran Ismail, who was seeking a ticket from Ballimaran, also staged a protest at the Pandit Pant Marg office. Supporters of former chief minister Madan Lal Khurana are also upset at his son being denied a ticket when the sons of other leaders had been accommodated.
According to party sources, more such resignations from angry and dissatisfied party workers are expected.