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Who will take on Dikshit? BJP votes

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 06, 2013
First Published: 01:19 IST(6/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:43 IST(18/9/2013)

The BJP on Thursday, a part of an ongoing exercise, held a secret ballot to find out who should contest against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the upcoming Assembly elections.

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The party’s Delhi unit had recently started the process of asking its senior party leaders and workers to nominate three persons who they felt merit a party ticket for the elections.

On Thursday, more than 200 party workers gave their preferences to decide the candidates for the Assembly segments falling under the New Delhi parliamentary constituency.

This parliamentary constituency is divided into two districts: New Delhi and Karol Bagh, which includes high-profile segments such as New Delhi, Greater Kailash, Malviya Nagar and Karol Bagh, among others.

“In terms of demography, this is a very important parliamentary constituency as senior leaders have contested from here. This exercise can end up deciding the fate of the leader of the Opposition, VK Malhotra, and senior leaders Vijay Jolly and Arti Mehra. At the same time, it will be interesting to note who the party workers have nominated for an electoral battle with the chief minister,” said a senior BJP leader.

The exercise is being conducted through secret ballot, wherein apart from the names, workers and senior party leaders have been asked to give three issues that can be treated as main agenda for the elections.

Senior BJP leaders said that a lot of importance was being placed on this exercise and it would be seriously taken into consideration in short-listing and finalising candidates. The exercise for this parliamentary constituency will continue on Sunday too.

“There are a number of BJP workers who have been connected with the party for as many as 30 years or so and know the BJP much more. But their voices get lost,” added another leader.

The exercise is expected to be completed by September 7. National executive members representing that constituency, state executive members, BJP office bearers of Delhi, district team of that constituency, current and former ward presidents, current and former councillors and MLAs are being asked to give names from their area.

The exercise is being carried out across seven parliamentary constituencies to cover all 70 Assembly seats. Those nominating candidates have to reveal their identities. All sealed packets containing the forms with preferences are being sent to Nitin Gadkari’s office and a final decision will be taken soon.

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