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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

BJP ticket hopefuls make a beeline as election nears, Congress seeks aspirants

In Gurgaon, the BJP has a large list of aspirants including the sitting MLA Umesh Agarwal, who has had his differences with chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, particularly in the first three years of this government.

gurugram Updated: Sep 21, 2019 03:24 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
BJP working president J P Nadda, Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, party general secretary Anil Jain seen during the Jan Aashirwad Yatra, at Sadar Bazar, in Gurugram.
BJP working president J P Nadda, Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, party general secretary Anil Jain seen during the Jan Aashirwad Yatra, at Sadar Bazar, in Gurugram.(Yogendra Kumar/HT FILE PHOTO)
         

With the assembly elections scheduled next month, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a problem of plenty as ticket aspirants from Gurgaon and Badshahpur are making a beeline.

Its opposition Congress, which recently overhauled the state leadership and appointed Kumari Selija the party president, on the other hand, has sought applications from aspirants.

In Gurgaon, the BJP has a large list of aspirants including the sitting MLA Umesh Agarwal, who has had his differences with chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, particularly in the first three years of this government. He is considered close to MP Rao Inderjit Singh and is seen as a strong contender, but will have to negotiate hard to win the confidence of the party’s high command, according to political observers.

While Agarwal is of the Vaishya community, the Punjabis, who have dominated Gurgaon for long, are putting strong claims for this seat calling it as their pocket borough. The name of Swami Dharamdev, a religious leader, is doing the rounds as a possible contender from the saffron party. He is considered close to the CM and shared the dais with him during the recent Janashirwad Yatra. GL Sharma, who also played an active role during the CM’s yatra is also canvassing for a party ticket. The names of Gargi Kakkar, Anurag Bakshi and Raman Malik are also among the ticket seekers, said BJP leaders.

Umesh Agarwal said that the party leadership has complete faith in him and is absolutely sure of getting the ticket. “I am fully confident of getting the mandate from Gurgaon,” he said.

In Badshahpur, the party has a less difficult choice as sitting MLA Rao Narbir Singh is in a strong position, and is considered close to CM. Senior BJP leader Sudha Yadav, youth leader Manish Yadav and Kamal Yadav are among the ticket seekers.

Jawahar Yadav, the BJP state spokesperson, said that tickets will be given to members committed to the party ideology and are acceptable to party workers in their constituencies. “The first list of candidates will be out in four to five days and the mandate would be given to deserving candidates. There are 15 to 20 aspirants in each constituency, but the criteria of selection will be same,” he said.

Those aspiring to contest on a Congress ticket in Gurgaon include former MLAs Dharambir Gaba and Sukhbir Kataria, councillor Seema Pahuja, Mohit Grover, Gaje Singh Kablana and Ashish Dua.

Jitender Bhardwaj, Congress state spokesperson, who is also a ticket claimant from Sohna, said that their experienced leaders will put up a strong fight. “The stock of BJP is high at present, but politics is cyclical and what goes up also comes down,” he said.

In Badshahpur, the Congress ticket seekers include former MLA Rao Dharampal, party general secretary Pradeep Zaildar, Vardhan Yadav and Kamalbir Singh. The contest is likely to remain between Rao Dharampal, who is a Hooda loyalist and Zaildar, who is closer to former party president Ashok Tanwar and senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, said party insiders.

Captain (retd) Ajay Singh Yadav, who is in charge of Congress’ campaign committee, said that applicants would be scrutinised. “The party screening committee, central election committee and other panels will take the final call,” he said, admitting a shortage of time.

First Published: Sep 20, 2019 21:53 IST

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