Delhi Cong nominees prefer wives as covering candidates
When it comes to protecting their home turf, Congress Lok Sabha nominees in the national capital seem to have little faith in their 'staunch' supporters compared to rival BJP, if one goes by their choice of family members as covering candidates in the general elections.
Four Congress nominees chose wives as their covering candidates while BJP leaders have fielded party supporters, including MLAs, as their dummies while submitting nomination for the Lok Sabha elections.
Union Minister Kapil Sibal, who is contesting from Chandni Chowk, has wife Promila as his covering candidate, while his colleague Ajay Maken chose wife Radhika to be the dummy in the elections. Similarly, DPCC president J P Agarwal, who is in the fray from North East Delhi constituency has selected his wife Sarita Agarwal as his covering candidate.
Also, Congress candidate Mahabal Mishra, the Dwarka MLA contesting from West Delhi seat, is putting his faith in wife Urmila. Urmila had been his regular "dummy" in the elections.
The wives will emerge as the official candidates of Congress if the nominations of these leaders are rejected during scrutiny. On the other hand, BJP candidates chose supporters as their dummies. Vijay Goel (New Delhi) has sitting MLA Karan Singh Tanwar and B L Singh Prem (NE Delhi) has Sahib Singh Chouhan as their dummies respectively.
Vijender Gupta (Chandni Chowk) chose BJP Delhi spokesperson Mange Ram Garg as his covering candidate while Meera Kanwaria (North-West) chose Yogesh Attri and Ramesh Bidhuri (South Delhi) preferred Azad Singh.
Stretching their faith in their life partners from personal to political lives, a host of candidates had also opted for their spouses to be their covering candidates during the Delhi Assembly elections last November.
Prominent among those who made their wives covering candidates were ministers and Congress's Arvinder Singh Lovely and Harun Yusuf and sitting MLAs Subhash Chopra, and Ramesh Lamba.
"My wife is a lucky mascot for me. From 1998 onwards, when I started contesting elections she is my covering candidate," Mahabal Mishra, the Congress candidate said. Another candidate who chose wife as dummy candidate is BSP's billionaire candidate Kanwar Singh Tanwar.
BSP's Haji Dilshad Ali, who is in judicial custody for his alleged involvement in an attack on a police station, also has his wife Shakeera Begum as his covering candidate.
However, she may become the only covering candidate to replace the official nominee as BSP is contemplating to withdraw Ali's candidature because he could not campaign. Meanwhile, East Delhi candidates Sandeep Dikshit (Congress) and Chetan Chouhan (BJP) seem to be confident that their papers would be in order and there was no need for a dummy candidate.