The headquarters of Delhi Congress at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg starts buzzing with activity as soon as the clock strikes nine.
Dressed in crisp white Kurta Pyjama or shirt-trouser and sporting red tilak, Congress party workers with their supporters in tow reach the party office to collect application forms for seeking a party ticket to contest the upcoming assembly elections.
Since September 25, 1,570 party workers have already collected the forms. While some workers wait for the “auspicious time” to collect and deposit the form, some demand the form of a particular number for numerological reasons. The forms with their number adding to seven and nine are most popular.
Sources said the queues are getting longer and the rush to collect the forms is likely to reach its crescendo after October 3 when the 15-day ‘shraadh’ — considered inauspicious in the Hindu religion to start a new venture — gets over.
The four-page form is mandatory for all ticket seekers. “Even the chief minister, her council of ministers and the sitting MLAs have to fill up the form and deposit it by October 6,” said a party worker, requesting anonymity.
The form was introduced by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who, said party workers, wanted to make the ticket distribution process “fair and transparent”. Applicants have to fill their personal details, year of joining the party, post held and the record of the elections contested in the past.
“The aspirants are required to know the constituency from where they are seeking the ticket. He/she should know the demography of the area, details of the past assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections and even the exact margin of victory. The ticket seekers are also required to write why the Congress won/lose from the constituency and reasons why he/she deserve the ticket,” said a senior party leader.
The aspirant also has to list the probable candidates of the other political parties and submit the form with the details and supporting documents of political and social work he has done in that area.
According to party workers, those who have submitted the forms are giving some interesting reasons why they should be considered for party ticket this time. “Some say they have been working for the party for several years and deserve to contest this time, some said the party should not consider the three-time and four-time sitting MLAs and try new faces instead. Some have even said they are more capable than some of the ministers in Delhi,” a worker said.
Highest numbers of aspirants have sought ticket from the Trilokpuri constituency, a seat won by the BJP by a small margin of 600-odd votes, followed by Babarpur and Karol Bagh, both of which are also BJP constituencies.
No one except the sitting MLAs have sought ticket from New Delhi and Uttam Nagar — the constituencies of chief minister Sheila Dikshit and her parliamentary secretary Mukesh Sharma, respectively.
Among those prominent who have collected forms are sons of Congress MPs from Delhi — Parvez Hashmi and Mahabal Mishra. Among the MLAs, the son of Mangat Ram Singhal has filled up the form for the party ticket.