Around 18 Congress leaders, including the sitting MPs, have applied for Lok Sabha tickets from those five Parliamentary constituencies in the Capital for which the party had not taken the primaries route for identification of the best candidates.

While the party is conducting US-style “primaries” for two Lok Sabha seats – New Delhi and North East Delhi – it had also invited applications from ticket hopefuls for the remaining five seats in Delhi till February 28. Even the sitting MPs were asked to file applications if they desired to contest from their seats again.

Party sources said while the South Delhi constituency received maximum applications, none other than sitting MP Sandeep Dikshit has applied for the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat. Apart from sitting MP Ramesh Kumar, former Delhi Assembly Speaker Yoganand Shastri, former MP Chaudhary Tarif Singh and Congress Chhatar Singh have applied from South Delhi parliamentary constituency.

Similarly, party leaders said, former Delhi Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan and sitting MLA from Sultanpur Jai Kishan have applied from reserved constituency North West Delhi, which is currently represented in the Lower House by Union Minister Krishna Tirath.

In Chandni Chowk, apart from Union Minister Kapil Sibal, Delhi Congress vice-president Sukhbeer Sharma has applied for a party ticket. In West Delhi, sitting MP Mahabal Mishra’s candidature has been challenged by former councillor S.K. Puri, party sources said.

While several Congress members have shown interest in contesting upcoming polls, senior Congress leaders said the party is likely to repeat all the sitting MPs in all the Parliamentary constituencies.

While Ajay Maken has already been elected unopposed in the primaries held for the New Delhi seat, nomination for North East seat represented by former Delhi Congress chief J.P Aggarwal would be held on March 4. If required, voting would be conducted on March 11.

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