Delhi Assembly Election 2020| Cadre given preference over stars, outsiders in BJP list
BJP chooses cadre over stars in its candidate listUpdated: Jan 22, 2020 05:23 IST
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) final list of 10 candidates, which was announced on Tuesday, has seven first-timers, including state unit spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga. Unlike 2015 assembly elections, the BJP this time has given preference to its cadre over “outsiders” and ensured that party workers at all levels of organisation got representation in the candidate list.
In the list of 67 candidates—BJP has given three seats to its allies JD(U) and LJP--- nearly one-fourth (16) are contesting for the first time.
Bagga has been given the BJP ticket from Hari Nagar and Dharamvir Singh (head of Delhi BJP’s booth management wing) will fight against Aam Aadmi party’s Atishi from Kalkaji.
The BJP fielded its state unit’s Yuva Morcha president Sunil Yadav, who is contesting the assembly election for the first time, against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal from New Delhi seat.
From mandal and district presidents to former MLAs, the BJP has given tickets to people from all levels of the party structure while also balancing the caste and community equations. The party has given tickets to just two outsiders—Kapil Mishra and Anil Bajpai — compared to six in 2015 assembly elections.
For the first time, the BJP has fielded nine candidates, including Manish Singh (head of Purvanchal Morcha of Delhi BJP) from the Purvanchal and Uttrakhand community, which plays a decisive role on 32-plus seats. The BJP is hoping to make a dent in AAP’s vote base in unauthorised colonies, which had played a crucial role in AAP winning 67 of the 70 seats in 2015 elections.
After the party’s alliance with its old and trusted ally Shiromani Akali Dal fell apart, the BJP is giving a chance to its own Sikh leaders expand their base in the community. Till now, the BJP has relied on SAD for the support of the Sikh community. Senior leaders say that this is the reason why Sikhs in BJP weren’t given many tickets.
But this time, the BJP has fielded three Sikhs -- RP Singh from Rajendra Nagar, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga from Hari Nagar and Impreet Singh Bakshi from Jangpura.
In 2015, the BJP has given four seats to SAD—Kalkaji, Shahdara, Rajouri Garden and Hari Nagar. The party has fielded a member of the Baniya community, Sanjay Goel, from Shahdara and a Punjabi, Ramesh Khanna, from Rajouri Garden.
In a break from the tradition, the BJP has not fielded any Muslim candidate. Since 1993, the BJP has been fielding a Muslim candidate from Matia Mahal constituency. But this time, the party has fielded Delhi BJP general secretary Ravinder Gupta, a Baniya, from the Muslim-dominated seat.
There are close to 10 candidates who have been MLAs for two or more terms. For instance, Mohan Singh Bisht, who is contesting from Karawal Nagar, has represented the constituency four times. He lost the election for the first time in 2015. The 63-year-old veteran is pitted against Aam Aadmi Party’s 30-year-old Durgesh Pathak. Bisht, who belongs to the Uttarakhand community, is popular for the work he has done in the area as MLA in the past. Locals in the areas say that the BJP old guard will give a tough fight to AAP’s young leader.
The list of former MLAs who have won two or more times includes Subhash Sachdeva (Greater Kailash), former Congress MLA SC Vats (Shakur Basti), Pyadhuman Rajput (Dwarka), Ramvir Singh Bidhuri (Badarpur), OP Sharma (Vishwas Nagar), Satprakash Rana (Bijwasan), Surender Pal Singh Bittu (Timarpur) and Anil Jha (Kirari).
There are close to 20 candidates who have successfully contested assembly elections in the past. Vijender Gupta, leader of the opposition in the Delhi assembly, is seeking re-election from Rohini and is prominent among popular face in BJP’s list of 67 candidates.