AAP vs BJP vs Congress: Key contests to watch out for
The fight got tougher this time with several experienced politicians changing their affiliations in the run up to the polls and bagging tickets to fight against their old parties.Updated: Feb 11, 2020 07:36 IST
The counting of votes for Delhi Assembly elections will be held on Tuesday. The results will decide the fate of 672 candidates - 593 men and 79 women - who had contested the elections on February 8.
While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is hoping to repeat its 2015 performance, when it had won 67 of 70 seats, the BJP is struggling to make a comeback to the helm of the Delhi Assembly after 22 years. The Congress, which ruled the city for 15 consecutive years till 2013 but drew a blank in the 2015 polls, is also looking for a turnaround in its fortunes.
The fight got tougher this time with several experienced politicians changing their affiliations in the run up to the polls and bagging tickets to fight against their old parties.
Here are some of the key poll battles in Delhi:
New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is contesting against BJP’s Sunil Yadav and Congress’ Romesh Sabharwal from New Delhi. The seat was earlier represented by Congress stalwart in Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, who was defeated by Kejriwal in 2013, and since then it has been under AAP’s kitty. Sabharwal is contesting his first major election in his 40-year-old political career. He has served as the president of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress. Yadav, meanwhile, served as the president of the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the BJP’s youth wing, and worked his way up the ranks. This is his first election.
Patparganj: The constituency in east Delhi is represented by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio. Sisodia is aiming for a hat-trick from the Patparganj Assembly seat. Sisodia is being challenged by BJP’s Ravinder Singh Negi and Congress’ Laxman Rawat. While Sisodia has been a household name in Delhi for his reforms in the education sector, the two leaders are new to the constituency.
Greater Kailash: AAP’s Saurabh Bhardwaj is contesting from the Greater Kailash seat and is pitted against Shikha Roy of BJP and Sukhbir Singh Pawar of Congress. Bhardwaj is not just party’s national spokesperson but was also a Cabinet Minister in the 2013 government. He is the sitting MLA from Greater Kailash.
Model Town: The north Delhi constituency is witnessing an interesting battle between BJP’s Kapil Mishra and two-time sitting AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi. Mishra had quit AAP after differences with Kejriwal and joined the BJP. He had won from the Karawal Nagar seat on an AAP ticket in 2015, but the BJP fielded him from the Model Town in 2020. While much of Delhi seems to be cheering for the AAP, according to exit polls, Tripathi is facing anti-incumbency in this seat and his public profile has taken a beating. The AAP leader has been accused of taking bribes for getting government jobs. Last year, he was taken into custody for failing to comply with court summons and warrants in a 2013 rioting case.
Chandi Chowk: In Chandni Chowk, Alka Lamba, who rebelled in the AAP and went back to the Congress, is contesting against the AAP’s Prahlad Singh Sawhney, a five-time MLA and the party’s new recruit who joined from the Congress in December last year. The BJP’s candidate from the seat is Suman Kumar Gupta, former councillor in the area who has twice unsuccessfully contested from the same seat before. Sawhney has so far maintained that there is no close contest in his constituency. “I know my support base and I have done sufficient amount of work in the area over years to build it,” he said ahead of the elections. Lamba, on the other hand, agreed that there will be a tough fight ahead, but asserted that she is the strongest face in the fray.
Hari Nagar: Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga is a BJP candidate from Hari Nagar. Bagga has been in the limelight for his Twitter spats, and a slap to former AAP leader Prashant Bhushan. He is Twitter savvy and was made the BJP spokesperson in 2017. Bagga is facing Aam Aadmi Party’s Princess Dhillon and Congress’ Surender Sethi in Hari Nagar.
Gandhi Nagar: Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely is contesting Delhi Assembly elections from Gandhi Nagar constituency. Lovely had quit Congress in 2017 and joined the BJP, but returned within nine months. In the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, Anil Kumar Bajpai, contesting on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket, defeated Jitender Chaudhary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by a margin of 7,482 votes in Gandhi Nagar. Bajpai joined the BJP in 2019.
Dwarka: Congress candidate Adarsh Sharma is contesting on a Congress ticket against the AAP’s Vinay Mishra from Dwarka. While Sharma was dropped from AAP, Mishra joined the party last month. Mishra is the son of Congress heavyweight Mahabal Mishra. The BJP’s candidate from the seat is a relatively lesser-known face, Pradyumn Rajput.
Kalkaji: Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra’s daughter Shivani Chopra is taking on AAP’s Atishi from Kalkaji. While Atishi had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, for Chopra it is her first election. She is banking on her father and Congress chief Subhash Chopra’s popularity who has represented Kalkaji thrice. The BJP has fielded former councillor Dharambir Singh from Kalkaji.
Seelampur: Congress’ stalwart candidate Mateen Ahmed is taking on AAP’s Abdul Rehman in Seelampur, which witnessed violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in December last year. In this Muslim-dominated constituency, the AAP dropped its sitting MLA Mohammad Ishraque. The BJP’s face from Seelampur is Kaushal Mishra, who identifies himself as a Purvanchali leader in the area.
Okhla: AAP has fielded its old hand Amanatullah Khan from Okhla which contains Shaheen Bagh too where anti-CAA protests have been going on for nearly two months. Khan is contesting against the BJP’s Brahm Singh, who had lodged a complaint against him accusing him of instigating riots during the protest.