Several anxious faces could be seen at 11, Ashoka Road, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) headquarters, on Wednesday morning. By evening, the crowd started to get restless even as the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the party held two marathon meetings before releasing a list of 58 names for the Delhi Assembly elections at 6.45pm.
The old order gave way to young Turks, who have cornered 47 of the 58 general seats for which names were announced. Right from Vijender Gupta, who has been fielded against CM Sheila Dikshit and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal from New Delhi, to senior leader VK Malhotra’s son Ajay, the party has fielded as many as 14 fresh faces. Sources said the party was hoping to attract the youth by opting for younger faces, most of who fall in the 40-45 age bracket.
Succumbing to pressure from senior leaders and the sitting MLAs, the party has repeated 21 sitting legislators, while two have been replaced by their sons. One seat has gone to the Akali Dal.
Like father like son
Pressure from senior leaders meant their sons got tickets from their seats. OP Babbar’s son Rajiv will contest from Tilak Nagar while former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Varma’s son Parvesh will contest from Mehrauli.
Five Purvanchali candidates have been fielded as compared to two in 2008. The community forms 30 per cent of voters.
As in 2008, only four women have been selected, among whom is former mayor Arti Mehra. But their number is likely to go up as a decision on eight seats is yet to be taken.
Breaking from the past when councillors were banned from contesting the assembly polls, the BJP central election committee decided to include Mahender Nagpal, leader of the north Delhi corporation, as a candidate for Wazirpur. Others include Rajesh Gehlot, Anil Sharma and Sushima Bagadi.
Missing in action
Senior BJP leader Vijay Jolly, who had even started campaigning from Greater Kailash, failed to bag a ticket as did Purvanchali face Poonam Azad. MCD councillors Yogender Chandolia, Subhash Arya and Savita Gupta were also denied the tickets as was Vimal Khurana, the son of former CM Madan Lal Khurana.
Late night meeting
The party will decide on the remaining seats in a late-night meeting on Wednesday. The party might field its second Muslim face time from Okhla.