Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

A sequel to objections by Goel and Kohli

Trying to give some tickets to Muslim candidates

NEW DELHI: The BJP is likely to take a couple of days more to come out with its remaining list of 13 candidates for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections.

Sources in the party said on Monday that following objections raised by senior leaders Vijay Goel and O.P. Kohli on the manner of selection of candidates, the leadership had decided to tread slowly and carefully on the issue. The two leaders had charged that the names were finalised by a few leaders.

They had raised objections saying the meeting of the Election Committee was only convened a few hours before the Central Election Committee was to meet and attempts were made to rush through with the names.

As a result, the party is now considerately weighing its options in the 13 remaining seats.

It is learnt that the most sought after of these is Patparganj from where youth leader Nakul Bharadwaj, Delhi BJP office-bearer Neera Shastri, cricketer Kirti Azad’s wife Poonam Azad and Virender Juyal, who had contested and lost from Mandawali last time, are in the contention.

Then from Laxmi Nagar, from where the Congress is likely to field A.K. Walia, the BJP would be choosing between Murari Panwar and Kuldeep Chahal. From Seelampur, Kaushal Mishra and Sitaram Gupta are in the race for the ticket.

From Matia Mahal, represented by Shoiab Iqbal, the BJP had almost finalised the name of Talat Sultana, who is also understood to have the backing of BJP Minority Morcha president Shahnawaz Husain. But as some leaders wanted a Hindu candidate, it is now also considering Virender Babber.

The party is trying to give at least some tickets to Muslim candidates. Another member of the community who is in contention is Jamshed Alam from Mustafabad. The only person standing between him and the ticket is Gujjar leader Yogender Sharma.

From Chandni Chowk, the main contenders for the ticket now are trade leader Praveen Khandelwal, Praveen Jain and Dharambir Sharma.

In Najafgarh, the party is yet to take a call on whether or not to field former MLA Kanwal Singh Yadav, who had lost in 2003.

Trilokpuri in East Delhi that includes important areas such as Mayur Vihar-I Extension is also undecided. Here the toss is between Sunil Vaid, who apparently has the backing of V.K. Malhotra, and Ram Chand Gujrati, who is being supported by Professor Kohli, who incidentally withdrew himself from the Election Committee work on Sunday.