Congress names 54 in first list

Names of several senior leaders, including DPCC chief Subhash Chopra, missing

Published - January 19, 2020 01:40 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Delhi Congress on Saturday released its first list of 54 candidates for the February 8 Assembly elections.

The list is a mix of Congress veterans, leaders who have switched over from the Aam Aadmi Party, as well as first-timers and new faces.

The party has not declared candidates for 16 seats, including the New Delhi constituency from where AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal is contesting.

The party is also in talks with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for a seat-share in four to five seats in areas dominated by Purvanchalis.

Names of city unit chief Subhash Chopra and other senior leaders like Ajay Maken and J.P. Aggarwal who had fought the Lok Sabha election are not in the list.

The party has fielded former Union Minister Krishna Tirath from Patel Nagar and former Delhi Minister Arvinder Lovely from Gandhi Nagar. Former Delhi Minister Ashok Kumar Walia will contest from Krishna Nagar constituency. All three working presidents of the Delhi Congress when Sheila Dikshit was the party chief have been given tickets. Haroon Yusuf will contest from Ballimaran; Rajesh Lilothia from Mongolpuri; and Devender Yadav from Badli.

Former AAP leader Alka Lamba, who switched over to the Congress, has been fielded from Chandni Chowk; AAP’s Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri, who joined the party on Saturday, was given a ticket from the constituency.

Mr. Shastri, the grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, also held the posts of national spokesperson and co-convener of overseas affairs cell of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Election campaign committee chairman Kirti Azad’s wife Poonam Azad will contest from Sangam Vihar. She will be among six women candidates that have been declared in the first list. The party has fielded Lakshman Rawat against Manish Sisodia from Patparganj.

The Congress has looked towards young candidates in Abhishek Dutt from Karturba Nagar, Radhika Khera from Janakpuri and Delhi Congress chief Shubhash Chopra’s daughter Shivani Chopra from Kalkaji.

In the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, the Congress failed to win a single seat.

However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, it improved its voteshare and was in second place in five out of the seven seats, giving the party hope that it will be able to win back its support that moved to AAP in 2015.

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