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The hotbed of confusion

Even as six parliamentary constituencies in Delhi gear up to go to polls on May 7, things are not as clear in the newly created West Delhi Lok Sabha seat. Anuradha Mukherjee reports.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2009 00:43 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

Even as six parliamentary constituencies in Delhi gear up to go to polls on May 7, things are not as clear in the newly created West Delhi Lok Sabha seat.

The Congress party has reserved its verdict on its candidate from the seat. Ticket hopefuls from the seat seem to prefer keeping mum about it.

The BJP, on the other hand, went ahead and gave the ticket to veteran Delhi politician Jagdish Mukhi, much to the chagrin of Parvesh Verma, son of former Delhi chief minister late Sahib Singh Verma.

Verma has been flexing his muscles since and even held a Mahapanchayat of the community on Sunday, almost threatening to pull the carpet beneath the BJP’s feet.

On Monday, however, he was more circumspect about making any comment on the incumbent or his likely candidature. “I cannot say anything at this stage,” he said, when asked about his plans.

There were whispers about a concerted effort to either get Mukhi to step down. There were unconfirmed reports about Verma having met Congress seniors with a prominent Jat leader from Haryana. Verma, however, refuted the claims.

BJP sources said it was unlikely that Mukhi would be asked to step down.

“Mukhi is a Delhi veteran and he will wrest away this seat for the BJP because of his contacts with the voters. Verma may be asked to contest against Sajjan Kumar. Anyway, BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri is no match for Sajjan,” said a BJP source.

On the Congress front, candidates are simply biding their time even though most concede the ticket might ultimately go to a Sikh candidate. Many named are doing the rounds.