The Aam Aadmi Party is looking for a “formidable” candidate to field against Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan from Krishna Nagar.
The dilemma before the party, which is making its electoral debut in the Delhi Assembly elections, is that prominent political faces who can take on the senior BJP leader and four-time MLA have either been declared as candidates for other seats or are engaged in campaign work.
Apart from the AAP’s own chief ministerial candidate Arvind Kejriwal, the party’s other known faces include Manish Sisodia, Prashant Bhushan, Sanjay Singh, Gopal Rai, Yogendra Yadav and Kumar Vishwas. Of these, Mr. Sisodia and Mr. Rai are candidate-designates from Patparganj and Babarpur respectively. “The party is left with four big faces in Mr. Vishwas, Mr. Singh, Mr. Bhushan and Dr. Yadav. But all of them are supervising election-related work and will not fight the elections,” said one party leader.
But given the profile of the constituency and the popularity of Mr. Vishwas, there is a view in the party to field him from Krishna Nagar. But AAP leaders are tight-lipped about the issue, waiting for the political affairs committee of the party to take the final decision.
Before Dr. Vardhan was made the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, the AAP had declared civil engineer Sushil Chauhan its candidate for Krishna Nagar. He later withdrew from the race citing “personal reasons”.
From the constituency, the Congress is likely to field former BJP councillor and the Chairman of the Public Health Committee of the unified MCD, V.K. Monga.
Dr. Vardhan has won the seat four times consecutively for the BJP since 1993. He had faced a tough battle in the 2008 elections when due to delimitation and a change in the contours of the constituency he scraped through by a narrow margin of 3,204 votes. He defeated Deepika Khullar of the Congress. Interestingly, Kamruddin of the Bahujan Samaj Party remained in the fray till the end and had taken away a significant number of Muslim votes. He had polled a total of 10,018 votes.
The AAP on Monday announced its candidates for the Adarsh Nagar and Moti Nagar Assembly constituencies.
While Kuldeep Singh Channa is the party candidate for the Moti Nagar seat, Jagdeep Rana will contest from Adarsh Nagar.