Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
Party has fielded only seven of its 21 sitting Councillors
NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party released its second list of candidates for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections here on Friday evening. The party has so far fielded only seven of its 21 sitting Councillors for the polls.
The party announced the names of 77 BJP and 12 Sikh candidates that would be fielded by the Akali Dal with which it has a seat-sharing agreement. The list was finalised after hectic consultations and now candidates for only two wards -- Ward 70 Rana Pratap Bagh and Ward 72 Model Town -- remain to be decided.
The BJP claimed that efforts had been made to give representation to people from various strata and sections of society as also people from various parts of the country. But reaching a decision on the candidates was by no means an easy task and there were strong protests by former Delhi BJP president Mange Ram Garg and former Chief Minister Sahib Singh on the way Delhi in-charge and MP Vijay Kumar Malhotra dominated the proceedings. Finally, two meetings of senior Delhi leaders with national general secretary Arun Jaitley were required to resolve the differences.
Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan said the time had now come for all the party workers to marshal all their resources for ensuring the victory of the BJP candidates. He said the party expected all its workers to ensure the party's victory in the polls.
Realising that there would be dissent among a large number of workers who could not get the ticket -- as over 10,000 applications had been filed for the 272 wards - Dr. Vardhan also sounded a note of caution: "The party would like the workers to support the party nominees. Anyone who stands independently against the candidate or joins hands with another party would be committing gross misconduct and would invite strict action."
The Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Jagdish Mukhi, said the BJP had also left 12 seats for Sikh candidates from its allies Akali Dal Badal and Akali Dal Manjit Singh group. The Akalis have been given GTB Nagar, Nilothi, Sultanpur Majra, Karol Bagh, Punjabi Bagh, Khyala, Nangalraya, Tilak Nagar, Major Bhupinder Singh Nagar, Govindpuri, Jaitpur and Anarkali to contest from.
The party has also given tickets to seven Muslim candidates. While the names of Abid Nawab from Jama Masjid and Nisar Ahmed from Nizamuddin were announced on Friday, those of Abdul Amiro from Turkman Gate, Imran Ismail from Qasabpura, Sajid Khan from Chauhan Bangar, Shama Khan from Mustafabad and Musheer Khan from Okhla had been announced in the first list.
Prof. Mukhi said selection of candidates had been done after micro-scrutiny of all the applicants and following consideration of the reports submitted by all the 142 mandals and 16 districts.
He said the BJP had also tried to give representation to people from all parts of the country in these polls. "We have even fielded people hailing from Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Besides a number of seats have been given Sindhis. And while as many as seven seats have gone to people hailing from Uttarakhand, 15 have been given to people from Poorvanchal."
On a question of rebellion by those denied tickets, Prof. Mukhi said while it was natural for aspirants to feel bad on being denied tickets, there was no rebellion within the party.
"Those who are threatening to leave the party had not contested the last MCD election on BJP tickets. They had only joined the party later," he said.