Delhi Elections 2020: Congress too doesn’t name a face against Arvind Kejriwal
The Delhi Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) first list of candidates for the February 8 state elections have one thing in common: both are yet to decide on who will contest against incumbent chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal from New Delhi constituency.
The Congress is yet to announce candidates to 15 other seats — Rajinder Nagar, Mehrauli, Okhla, Badarpur, Burari, Kirari, Tilak Nagar, Uttam Nagar, Bijwasan, Vikaspuri, Palam, Kondli, Ghonda, Karawal Nagar and Madipur. While BJP is yet to name candidates to 12 other seats. Both parties are yet to name candidates for Burari and Mehrauli.
Senior Congress leaders said that the party leadership is still holding talks regarding whom to field against Kejriwal as it is looking for a strong candidate who can give him the AAP chief a tough fight .
“We need a heavyweight to defeat Kejriwal. So the party is taking some time in deciding the right candidate,” said a Congress leader, who wished not to be named.
In 2013, Kejriwal defeated then-chief minister Sheila Dikhshit of the Congress. In 2015, he had defeated Congress’s Kiran Walia and the BJP’s then Delhi unit spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
“In New Delhi, it looks like the BJP and the Congress are looking out for a strong face. This delay can be seen as symbolic – they are not ready to let the constituency be a cakewalk for Arvind Kejriwal,” said Praveen Rai, political analyst with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi.
Burari is considered a seat having a sizeable number of Purvanchali voters —migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Currently, this seat is represented by AAP’s Sanjeev Jha, who is from the community.
“The party is looking for a suitable Purvanchali candidate. The BJP is also expected to do the same,” another Congress leader said.
“The party is looking for some heavyweight candidate as the fight here will be on the Purvanchali factor. Northeast Delhi MP and BJP’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari might also contest,” said a BJP leader who wished not to be named.
In Mehrauli, the AAP has reposed faith in MLA Naresh Yadav from the Ahir community. This constituency represents a mix of Jat and Yadav voters.
“The party is mulling to get a suitable face who can balance these caste equations in this assembly segment,” a senior Congress leader said.
From BJP, Devender Sehrawat, who had joined the saffron party during Lok Sabha polls after quitting the AAP, can be a possible candidate.