Nine ex-mayors, 52 former councillors in BJP’s list for municipal polls

Updated on Nov 13, 2022 08:43 AM IST

The central leadership of the party has ensured representation to all sections of society, the Delhi BJP chief said.

BJP flags at the party headquarter in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)
BJP flags at the party headquarter in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)
ByRisha Chitlangia

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday released its first list of 232 candidates, including 52 former councillors of which nine are former mayors, for the December 4 municipal elections in the national capital. Senior party leaders said that the party has tried to balance all the caste equations as well as ensuring a mix of fresh faces and experienced leaders.

While 50% of the 250 municipal wards are reserved for women in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the BJP has given 126 tickets to women candidates in the first list. Senior party leaders said that the remaining 18 names, in wards located in mostly in east and north-east Delhi will be announced on Sunday.

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said, “In this list, the central leadership of the party has ensured representation to all sections of society. The party has selected candidates who will serve the people of the city in the corporation.”

While 50% of the 250 municipal wards are reserved for women in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the BJP has given 126 tickets to women candidates in the first list.
While 50% of the 250 municipal wards are reserved for women in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the BJP has given 126 tickets to women candidates in the first list.

Elections to the MCD will be held on December 4, and counting of votes will be taken up on December 7, according to the polls schedule announced by the state election commission last week. It’s a high stakes fight for both the AAP and the BJP since MCD is a key component of city’s governance. The municipal body administers nearly 80% of Delhi’s area providing nearly as many services as the city government.

For the AAP, it will be only be the second outing at the civic polls. Despite achieving unprecedented victories in 2015 and 2020 assembly elections, the AAP failed to upstage the BJP at MCD. The BJP, however, which has ruled for three consecutive terms at the MCD, the polls will be important to maintain its sway in the local political landscape after two back to back defeats at the assembly polls.

Unlike 2017, when the party had replaced all the sitting councillors to beat anti-incumbency, the BJP this time has given tickets to 52 former councillors of which 11 were part of the corporation between 2012 and 2017 (second term of BJP in the corporation).

Rekha Gupta, Parwesh Wahi are among the councillors who were part of the unified corporation between 2012 and 2017. Of the 181 councillors who won in 2017, the party has given tickets to just 41 of them this time.

“A lot of the councillors didn’t get the tickets as the composition of their wards changes drastically after delimitation. Unlike last time, the party has tried to strike a balance between experience and fresh faces. There are 11 candidates who were councillors during BJP’s first and second stint in the corporation. From the last term in the corporation, the party has given tickets to nine out of 15 Mayors,” said a senior party leader who asked not to be named.

Among the former Mayors who were not given tickets are Jai Prakash (former North Corporation mayor), Mukesh Suryan (former South corporation mayor), Preety Aggarwal (North corporation mayor), Nirmal Jain (East corporation mayor).

Former Mayors who have been given a ticket this time include Kamaljeet Sehrawat, Avatar Singh, Raja Iqbal Singh, Sunita Kangra, Bipin Bihari, Neema Bhagat.

The BJP has fielded 23 candidates from the Punjabi community and 21 from the Baniya (trading community), which are considered its traditional support base, 42 brahmin, 34 jats, 22 Rajputs, 13 Jatav, nine each to Yadav and Balmiki community among others.

In the last municipal elections in 2017, the party fielded 34 purvanchalis (people from eastern UP and Bihar). In the first list, the party has given tickets to 26 candidates from the purvanchal community. “There are 18 wards where candidates are yet to be decided. Most of the wards are in east and northeast Delhi. There are chances that the number of Purvanchalis will go up to 35. The community plays a decisive role in several wards in trans-Yamuna areas as there are a large number of slums clusters and unauthorised colonies,” said a senior BJP leader.

The party has also fielded three Muslim candidates from Chauhan Banger (Saba Gaji), Chandni Mahal (Irfan Malik) and Mustafabad (Shabnam Malik). Seven Sikhs have also been given the party ticket.

Till 2017, the party used to contest the elections in Delhi in alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal). But after the SAD snapped ties with the BJP over the three contentious farm laws, the BJP this time has fielded its own candidates.

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