At least four of the 24 sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs may this time not find favour with the party leadership and be denied tickets for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections. According to sources in the Delhi BJP, while the party has shortlisted single names on the panels being finalised for distribution of tickets in each of the 70 Assembly segments, it has also identified some “weak links”.
The party MLAs who may find it tough to get another opportunity to contest the Delhi Assembly polls include Dwarka MLA Pradyumn Rajput, Burari MLA Sri Krishan Tyagi, Trilokpuri MLA Sunil Vaidya and Hari Nagar MLA Harkishan Singh Balli.
While Mr. Balli is a former Delhi Minister and a four-time MLA, he has not been keeping well of late and so is unlikely to contest the election. As for the other three MLAs, party sources said, internal surveys have revealed that they may not be able to retain their seats due to changed dynamics.
The profile of some of the constituencies, such as Mr. Balli’s Hari Nagar, has also changed following the delimitation carried out prior to the 2008 Assembly elections.
With the constituency now having 10 per cent Sikh population and a significant Punjabi population and several villages added to its limits, the BJP is actively considering allocating the ticket to a person who is favoured among the villagers so that it may be able to retain it by a big margin. “While the wife and son of Mr. Balli are also eyeing the seat, it remains to be seen how the party would decide the ticket.”
The party is also looking at fielding Shakur Basti MLA Shyam Lal Garg, who is a Baniya leader, from another place since Shakur Basti after delimitation had a profile of 32 per cent Punjabis, 10 per cent Sikhs and 15 per cent Baniya voters. Sources said that post-delimitation the party is considering recommending Mr. Garg to a more suitable constituency so his expertise can be used.
“There is, however, also a distinct possibility of his getting dropped,” said a party source.