To finalise candidates for Delhi Assembly elections by October-end
NEW DELHI: Congress leaders in Delhi on Tuesday welcomed the announcement of dates for the Delhi Assembly elections, exuding confidence that the party would come to power for a record third consecutive time riding on the issue of development over the past ten years as its main plank.
Soon after the Election Commission announced that Delhi would go to the polls on November 29 and counting would take place on December 8, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit declared that she and the party were “prepared for the polls”. Ms. Dikshit said the Congress would again go to the people on the issue of development that has taken place in Delhi over the past ten years.
“In every field, be it Delhi Metro, public transport, water, electricity, education or health, the city has progressed like never before,” she said.
Expressing confidence that people will again vote the Congress to power, the Chief Minister also sought to downplay the threat of the Bahujan Samaj Party. “While the BJP has been trying to impress that the BSP will play a major role in the elections, I would like to categorically state that it would not be able to damage us,” she said.
On distribution of tickets, Ms. Dikshit said the party would give a chance to a number of new faces but the main criteria would remain a clean image and the ability to win. “If there is an old MLA who is in a winning position, then he or she would get the ticket,” she said.
As for the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate, Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the Chief Minister said while she had great respect for him, she did not think that he is a better administrator in any way.
DPCC president J. P. Agarwal said the Congress was all geared up to put up a “united and solid fight” in the elections. “We will retain power in Delhi for the third consecutive term and teach the BJP a good lesson,” he said.
The party president said the ten years of Congress rule in Delhi had changed the face of the Capital and the party was proud of its achievements. He said the progressive policies had benefited all communities and all categories of people, which should stand the party in good stead in the coming elections.
More specifically, Mr. Agarwal said the Congress government’s decision to regularise unauthorised colonies would benefit over 40 lakh people in Delhi. The Government was also constructing four lakh flats under the Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojana Scheme to relocate slum dwellers and this too would benefit the poor and the needy, he said.
The process of finalising the party candidates for the Delhi Assembly elections was on and the names of the candidates would be announced by October-end, Mr. Agarwal said, adding that the Congress would make every effort to give representation to various castes, communities and religions while selecting the candidates so as to ensure that no section of society felt neglected or alienated. He said the interest of women and youth would also be taken care of and more women and youth candidates would be given the party ticket this time than in the previous years.