While Delhi’s political heavyweights, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are still deciding their candidates for the December assembly elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has finalised its list to get a head start in campaigning.
The BSP — which stood third in the last assembly elections — had already chosen candidates for 15-20 seats it hopes to win a month ago. On Sunday, it made a formal announcement on all 70 candidates when district-level workers has come to meet senior leaders.
“Mayawatiji has cleared 63 candidates and the rest will be cleared soon. We met the candidates and informed them about the party’s plan for the elections. Those who are contesting and those who are assisting them have been briefed about how to make an impact,” said Ram Achal Rajbhar, president of Delhi BSP.
Candidates have been given a free hand to plan their campaigning and asked to start meeting local residents.
The BSP had won two seats and came second on five seats in the last assembly elections. The party was the third choice on at least 55 seats.
“We had started planning in January and the candidates for 15-20 seats were told to work hard as these were the seats we lost narrowly,” said ML Tomar, a party member.
Some of the seats for which the BSP has finalised candidates are Gokalpur, Mustafabad, Narela, Rohtash Nagar, Seelampur, Babarpur, Ghonda and Rohini among others.
On 40 seats, the party had got 10,000 to 30,000 votes in the 2008 assembly elections. “We might have won only two seats last time but one should not forget we gave tough fight on several other seats,” Tomar added.
The BSP had won Badarpur and Gokalpur seat the last time and came second in Narela, Badli, Deoli, Tughlakabad and Babarpur.
However, the party will have to go into elections without its experienced players this time.
While Ram Singh Netaji, who won the Badarpur seat by more than 13,000 votes in 2008, joined the Congress and is likely to seek re-election on its ticket, the party has decided not to give ticket to Chaudhary Surender Kumar, who had won from Gokalpur by about 3,000 seats.