BJP in a dilemma over renominations

NEW DELHI NOV. 1. The Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party Election Committee, which is meeting for the second time tomorrow, is likely to find itself in a dilemma over the issue of clearing the names of the sitting MLAs as a number of them face charges of neglecting their constituency and being unpopular or have police cases registered against them. The BJP has made it clear that all those who have criminal cases against them would not be considered for the party ticket.

The Election Committee had met on October 31, but only decided the broad criteria for granting party ticket. However, when it meets tomorrow under the leadership of the Delhi BJP president, Madan Lal Khurana, it would consider the cases of sitting party MLAs. The party has 14 MLAs in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha and the cases of about half a dozen MLAs would be take up. The rest have already got the party nod to start work in their constituencies.

Among the present lot, the sitting MLA from Moti Nagar, Avinash Sahani, will make way for Mr. Khurana. The position of the Karawal Nagar MLA, Mohan Singh Bisht, and Babarpur MLA, Naresh Gaur, is not very good. Similarly, the sitting MLA from Shalimar Bagh, Ravinder Bansal, is also facing a tough task of getting a re-nomination as the Outer Delhi MP and former Union Minister, Sahib Singh Verma, is in no mood to grant him a second stint.

But the party could be faced with a dilemma with regard to the sitting MLA from Badli, Jai Bhagwan Aggarwal, who faces strong protests from various sections in his constituency. Mr. Aggarwal also holds the "dubious distinction" of having got the highest number of liquor shops opened in his area much to the chagrin of the BJP, which is strongly opposed to promotion of liquor. At the same time, Mr. Aggarwal faces a number of police cases including that of an assault on a women and her husband in the area with the help of his supporters.

It is learnt that the party is in two minds about giving the ticket to the two-time MLA and even Mr. Sahib Singh Verma is giving a second thought to supporting Mr. Aggarwal's cause for a third nomination in a row.

On the other hand, the party is also on the backfoot on the issue of granting party ticket to Karan Yadav from the Hastsal Assembly constituency. Mr. Yadav, who recently joined the BJP, not only faces local opposition but also has to his credit a large number of cases including a conviction by the court, which has been stayed for the time being.

Mr. Yadav holds the distinction of having cases registered under various section of the IPC including Section 302 which has put the party on the defensive with regard to his candidature. It is felt that keeping in mind the declared intention of the party and also the scrutiny the Election Commission, giving party ticket to Mr. Yadav would only mean inviting trouble. Similar is the case of Madan Lal Balmiki, who is in the running for the party ticket from Sulanpuri (SC). Mr. Balmiki, a former Councillor, has been convicted in the past. Local partymen are strongly opposing his candidature, putting the party in a fix.

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