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BJP biggies eye same poll pie, selection body confused

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 05, 2013
First Published: 01:43 IST(5/11/2013) | Last Updated: 01:47 IST(5/11/2013)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is having a really tough time in deciding the names of candidates from among their pool of contenders for some of the prime constituencies in the city.

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Senior BJP leaders said there was a “neck-and-neck struggle” between the prospective candidates for the upcoming assembly polls, which is delaying the process of finalising names and affecting the campaigning process.

Senior leaders said the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC) was likely to meet on Tuesday and apart from discussing Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan — two other states going to elections — it is likely to take up the Delhi list. BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will take part in the meeting.

They said the party is likely to clear the sitting MLAs and those seats where there is not much competition or the party has not found many candidates. A decision on those seats where different opinion polls have shown a clear victory margin will also be taken up on Tuesday.

In a recent meeting of the state election committee, Delhi election in-charge Nitin Gadkari had discussed all possible names and had shortlisted two to three names on each seat. A core group comprising Gadkari, VK Malhotra, Harsh Vardhan, Vijay Goel and Vijay Sharma was formed after the election committee meeting; they will meet early morning to further discuss the names.

“The core group will further shortlist names so that at least some of them can be cleared in the Central Election Committee to be held later in the day,” added another leader.

The party is finding it difficult to decide the names for some of the high-profile constituencies such as Greater Kailash where leader of opposition VK Malhotra has been pitching for his son Ajay Malhotra. Senior leader Vijay Jolly has been pushing for the same seat.

“We have held many meetings but Jolly has made it clear that he will contest from Greater Kailash only. Malhotraji too has given his son’s name. He also hasn’t officially stated that he will not contest the elections,” said a senior leader.

Other seats on which the party has held several meetings but has not arrived at any conclusion include Malviya Nagar from where Arti Mehra as well as sitting councillor Satish Upadhyay have expressed their desire to fight.

From Tri Nagar, councillor Mira Aggarwal, treasurer of state unit Ashok Goyal, councillor Rekha Gupta, and Nand Kishore Garg have given names.

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