Decoding BJP’s candidate list for Delhi polls; CM face missingUpdated: Jan 21, 2020 12:49 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have fielded two first-timers against two-time chief minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi assembly constituency. The suspense over who will be BJP’s chief ministerial candidate continues, as there are no popular or big names of senior leaders in the party’s final list of 10 candidates - BJP has given three seats to its allies Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
Delhi BJP’s youth wing head Sunil Yadav and Congress’ Romesh Sabharwal, a former National Students’ Union of India’s (NSUI) Delhi unit, have been pitted against Kejriwal in the high-stakes polls. In 2013 and 2015 assembly elections, the BJP and Congress have fielded political heavyweights and popular faces to counter Kejriwal.
In 2013, former Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta and three-time chief minister late Sheila Dikshit had contested against Kejriwal. In 2015, the BJP had fielded a first-timer Nupur Sharma, its then Delhi BJP spokesperson and a known face, while Congress has reposed its faith in Dikshit’s confidant and former Delhi health minister Kiran Walia.
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In its final list of 10 candidates, the BJP had fielded its state unit spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga from Hari Nagar constituency after party’s talks with its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) failed late on Monday night.
Like Yadav, the BJP has also given tickets its state unit Purvanchal morcha and booth management morcha head - Manish Singh and Dharamvir Singh respectively. While Manish Singh, who was seeking a ticket from Karawal Nagar, will contest from Delhi Cantonment, Dharmvir Singh will contest from to Kalkaji against AAP’s Atishi. The party has denied a ticket to three-time MLA from Delhi Cantonment Karan Singh Tanwar this time.
BJP’s west Delhi district in-charge Ramesh Khanna will contest from Rajouri Garden, while deputy Mayor in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation Sanjay Goyal will contest from Shahdara.
Kalkaji, Rajouri Garden, Hari Nagar and Shahdara assembly segments were contested by the Akalis in the past as part of their seat-sharing arrangements with the BJP.
From Krishna Nagar assembly segment, which has been represented by Union health minister Harsh Vardhan four times, the BJP has fielded Dr Anil Goyal, a senior party worker but contesting for the first time. The constituency is significant as BJP’s chief ministerial candidates for the 2013 and 2015 assembly elections, Harsh Vardhan and former IPS Kiran Bedi, respectively contested from here.
Sumanlata Shokeen, wife of former MLA and party’s district president Manoj Shokeen, will contest from Nagloi Jat. This time the BJP has fielded just five women candidates as against 2015 when eight women were fielded, including former IPS Kiran Bedi who was party’s chief ministerial candidate. From Kasturba Nagar, BJP has fielded a first-timer Ravinder Chaudhury.
The BJP faces a tough battle in Delhi where it has been out of power for more than two decades. The party could win only three seats in the last assembly polls in 2015 with the AAP scoring a landslide victory with 67 seats.
The voting for the 70-member Delhi assembly will be held on February 8. The votes will be counted on February 11.