Lok Sabha elections 2019: Lawyer is AAP face in West Delhi
Despite speculations of a possible tie-up with the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday announced its candidate for the west Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. With this, it has named faces to all seven seats in Delhi.
Forty-five-year old lawyer Balbir Singh Jakhar will represent the party from the seat. He is currently the president of the bar association in West Delhi’s Dwarka court.
“Other than that, he has also been the chairman of the coordination committee of All Delhi district court bar association since 2017,” said AAP’s Delhi convener Gopal Rai when he announced Jakhar’s candidature during a media briefing at the party’s head office in central Delhi. He added that Jakhar’s association with senior AAP leaders dates back to the days of the Jan Lokpal movement, the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare in 2011. The AAP is itself a product of this movement.
The announcement comes at a time when the buzz about a possible Congress-AAP alliance in Delhi has intensified again.
Senior Congress leader PC Chacko, who is the AICC’s Delhi in-charge, had said that the results of a survey conducted among the booth-level workers of the party over whether to ally with the AAP or not, has been sent to the Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who will take a final call within the next two-three days.
On Sunday, Gopal Rai refrained from speaking on the possible tie-up and said that the party would go into full-fledged campaign mode only after Holi, which falls on March 20.
Delhi is scheduled to go for polls on May 12.
When contacted, Rai said: “If Congress was serious about defeating the BJP, it would have clarified its stand over the alliance. Now it is too late and we have to start our campaigning.”
When asked, will the AAP be open to negotiations if Congress agrees to an alliance in the days to come, Rai said: “Let them get some clarity and come to us first. We will see to it.”
Delhi Congress spokesperson Jitendra Kochar said, “Delhi Congress does not want the tie up. The senior leaders in AICC must understand that. Yesterday, we met PC Chacko to convey it one more time but did not get any assurance.”
Jakhar was one of the four candidates, including an AAP MLA, shortlisted by the party for the West Delhi seat, Gopal Rai said. This will be the first time that Jakhar will be fighting an election to the Lok Sabha. He is not an office bearer in the party.
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are yet to announce names of the candidates in any of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.
Earlier this month, the AAP named its candidates for the six other seats — Pankaj Gupta from Chandni Chowk, Dilip Pandey from northeast Delhi, Atishi from east Delhi, Raghav Chadha from south Delhi, Gugan Singh from northwest Delhi, and Brijesh Goyal from New Delhi, all of whom were named in-charges of their respective constituencies last year. By September 2018, the party had appointed Rajpal Solanki as in-charge for west Delhi too, but he later resigned over health issues.
While all other faces held national or state-level positions in the party, Singh and Jakhar didn’t. Singh, a former BJP Delhi legislator, joined AAP in 2017.