Party tweaks its earlier list for Harsharan Singh Balli, who recently left the BJP

After hectic day-long consultations, the Congress by Thursday evening finalised the list of its remaining 14 candidates for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections.

The party also made a change to its earlier list of 56 candidates, when it gave a ticket to former Minister and four-time BJP MLA Harsharan Singh Balli, who recently left the party after being denied a ticket from Hari Nagar.

The Congress decided to honour the veteran Sikh leader with a ticket and withdrew the name of its councillor Surender Kumar Setia, who had been declared the party candidate a couple of days ago.

Sleepless night

Barring this, the Congress also gave a sleepless night to four of its other leaders, whose names had been announced as candidates but who were told on Wednesday not to file their nominations till further orders.

These candidates — Neeraj Basoya from Kasturba Nagar, Amit Malik from Kirari, Dr. Naresh Kumar from Mundka and Balzor Singh from Gokulpuri — were on Thursday given the go ahead to file their nominations.

Former MP Sajjan Kumar’s son Jag Pravesh has been given the ticket from Sangam Vihar, while West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra’s son Vinay will be the party candidate from Palam.

Party sources said the decisions on the 14 new candidates and Mr. Balli were taken by the Central Election Committee. Chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi, the panel met at 11 a.m. Thereafter, an informal meeting was convened at 4 p.m., in which minor changes were made to the list.

Though the list was finalised, candidates had not been given the party symbols till late in the evening as it had not been signed at the All India Congress Committee.

By 7.30 p.m. some of the finalised candidates, as also Mr. Balli’s son, reached the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee office to collect their letters. However, they had not got them till past 11 p.m.

The chosen ones

The candidates finalised by the party are former student leaders Ragini Naik from Janakpuri, and Amrita Dhawan from Tilak Nagar; Inderjeet from Rithala; K.K. Wadhwa from Rohini; Tasveer Solanki from Dwarka; Vijender Dutt from Najafgarh; Virender Kasana from Greater Kailash; O.P. Bidhuri from Tughlaqabad; Beg Raj from Karawal Nagar; Deepak Tyagi from Burari; Harnam Singh from Trilokpuri and sitting Congress MLA Dayanand Chandela’s wife Dhanwanti Chandela from Rajouri Garden.

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