Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party working hard to finalise the list of candidates

Even as parleys among the election committees of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party reached a feverish pitch, 14 more nominations were filed for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections on Tuesday. With this the total nominations during the first two days of the nomination process has now gone up to 21. Of these, two nominations each have been filed by candidates of Bahujan Samaj Party and Lok Janshakti Party while the remaining are of independents.

On the first day seven nominations were filed, including one each by the BSP and the LJP candidates, and on Tuesday 14 more were filed.

As for the two main parties, the Congress and the BJP, the process of screening of applications for the 272 wards in the three new Corporations is still going on.

While the Congress has delegated the responsibility to seven different parliamentary constituency election committees, and would later take the recommendations and disputes before an Apex Committee comprising the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief, general secretary in-charge of Delhi, the Chief Minister and conveners of all the seven parliamentary panels, the BJP is carrying out the process directly through a central election committee comprising senior party leaders.

The Congress, which is in power in Delhi and had won all the seven Lok Sabha seats, is thus also witnessing a greater tug of war between the seven Ministers and a large number of MLAs on the one side and some of the Members of Parliament on the other.

While in the North-West Delhi parliamentary constituency nine of the 10 party candidates during the 2008 Assembly elections, including six sitting MLAs, have openly expressed their resentment with MP Krishna Tirath on the issue of selection of candidates, in New Delhi constituency too there is considerable resentment on certain seats.

Here the convener of the panel and All-India Congress Committee secretary Dr. Vijaylakshmi said the panel has already had two meetings to discuss the selection of candidates and another one is scheduled for Wednesday. “We are working on the seats everyone is agreeable to. The candidature for the remaining contentious wards would be decided by the Apex Committee.''

During the meetings of the panel, Delhi Labour Minister Ramakant Goswami, former MLA Anjali Rai and some other members had raised some objections. These objections ranged from list of prospective candidates forwarded by the DPCC not being circulated among the members to short listing of names of people who had rebelled in the past and contested as Independents. In this regard, a complaint had also been made by some members about a candidate in Naraina (Ward No. 152).

The Congress had also constituted a Manifesto Committee which has prepared its report. Chairman of this committee and West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra said “the outline of the manifesto is ready and copies have been submitted to DPCC chief J.P. Agarwal, who has personally handed over one copy to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for taking her inputs.''

Mr. Agarwal had initially suggested that one manifesto should suffice for the whole of Delhi as the problems relating to most of the areas were the same. However, Ms. Dikshit is learnt to be holding the opinion that separate manifestos be brought out by the party for all the three corporations by incorporating the issues which were specific to them.

The Manifesto Committee, which has had about half a dozen meetings thus far, is expected to now take expert opinion to bring out separate manifestos for all the three Corporations. It has stated that there is still time as the party manifesto is normally released only after the nomination process gets over.

Keywords: MCD elections

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