BJP releases first list of 57 candidates
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday released its first list of 57 candidates for the ensuing 70-member Delhi Assembly polls slated to be held on February 8. The party will be fielding all three of its sitting MLAs including Vijender Gupta and former Mayors Ravinder Gupta, Khushi Ram and Yogender Chandolia.
With over 50 per cent of the candidates announced being new faces, the list revealed BJP's strategy to field fresh faces. The party has also decided to reward corporation leaders in the national Capital.
The party, however, did not name its candidate against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday with Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari saying that the candidate from New Delhi seat will be announced soon. Gupta will again fight from his Rohini seat, while Mishra will contest from Model Town. The ruling AAP has announced all its 70 candidates. Moreover, the candidature of Tiwari, a sitting MP, has also not been announced in the first list of candidates.
Candidates like Shikha Rai, Ramchandra Chawariya and Khushi Ram replacing Rakesh Gulia, Prabhu Dayal Sai and Ashok Chauhan from Greater Kailash, Sultanpur Majra and Ambedkar Nagar respectively show the BJP's drive to bring in new faces for the voters to choose. Besides, Rajkumar Bhatia from Adarsh Nagar, Jai Prakash from Sadar Bazaar, Shailendra Singh Monty from Malviya Nagar and Rajkumar Dhillon from Kondli are all new additions to the saffron team this time around.
The list, which was released by Manoj Tiwari, also included former AAP MLA Kapil Mishra and has 11 SC and four-women candidates. At least 27 new faces figured in the BJP's list of candidates for the 2020 Delhi Assembly polls. Comparing to the 2015 candidates' list, this time 54 per cent of the candidates from BJP are new faces.
Leader of Opposition and Rohini candidate Vijender Gupta on Friday said that their candidate selection process has been extremely fair and that the party had given a chance to candidates from all sections of society to maximise representation. He said that his party has even considered candidates from outside Delhi like Rajkumar Dhillon.
Tiwari was joined by senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar at the press conference where he announced the party candidates whose names were finalised at its Central Election Committee meeting on Thursday night. BJP has also given a chance to four women candidates — Shikha Rai is the BJP candidate from Greater Kailash seat whereas Rekha Gupta from Shalimar Bagh and Lata Sodhi will fight the elections from Ballimaran. Kiran Vaidya will contest the polls from Trilokpuri seat.
The meeting of the BJP Central Election Committee was chaired by Union Home minister Amit Shah on Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, National Working president Jagat Prakash Nadda, Union Defence minister Rajnath Singh, minister of Road Transport and Highways, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari were also present.
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