Last chance for some heavy weights?
For the political heavyweights of Delhi politics, the 1 December Delhi Assembly election is an opportunity to flex their muscles in a long political career.india Updated: Oct 13, 2003 15:16 IST
For the political heavyweights of Delhi politics, the 1 December Delhi Assembly election is an opportunity to flex their muscles in a long political career. But on the not so flip side the elections could be make or break for some of them.
This is perhaps Delhi BJP chief Madan Lal Khurana’s last chance to become Delhi Chief Minister. With 10 successful elections Khurana is going in for the kill.
“Delhi is my temple and I am its priest,” he says. It is also the first time after his stint as CM that Khurana enjoys “unconditional support” from Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma, south Delhi MP Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Union Minister Vijay Goel.
It remains to be seen what happens if the BJP loses the election and Khurana wins from his Moti Nagar sea. “We’re expecting a resounding victory so we won’t speculate on hypothetical matters,” said a BJP leader asked about this case scenario. Those close to Khurana, however, said that if this happened the leader was likely to retain his Delhi Sadar seat.
Sahib Singh Verma, the MP from Outer Delhi, the world’s largest constituency is aiming to improve party performance in his bastion to ensure the going is smooth for his 2004 general election.
A former Delhi CM, Verma’s betting his money on Khurana as this election will certainly impact his fate in the Lok Sabha polls. The lack of other contenders for the CM's seat naturally makes Khurana's task easier.
While “ifs” and “buts” continue as always, theCongress seems to have more problems this time round. Party bigwigs Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and J.P. Aggarwal were in the political wilderness but now want a fresh stint. They’re already branded “vote catchers” and Tytler has already been appointed media in-charge and the party's face for the election.
For the trio (Tytler, Kumar and Aggarwal) this poll is like a semi-final in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.
Should BJP win and Khurana become CM, he will have to vacate the Delhi Sadar seat as MP which Tytler is gunning for and has lost in two past elections.
Denied a ticket in the past two Lok Sabha elections Kumar emerged stronger after he was acquitted by lower courts in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. Senior leaders say Kumar’s strategy now is ensuring that a majority of his nominees gget tickets in this election so he can continue to play “kingmaker”.
DPCC president Prem Singh too is a contender for CM, Delhi and hasn’t lost an election in 45 years. He asserts that “all decisions will be made by the party high command and our President Sonia Gandhi”.
Only on 4 December (the date of the results), however, will the fortunes of these heavyweights be known.
First Published: Oct 13, 2003 15:16 IST