The party has released its first list of candidates for 15 seats for LS polls.
New Delhi: For the Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, the Congress is likely to announce its candidates by next week, sources have said. The Congress has already sounded the poll bugle with the party releasing its first list of candidates for 15 seats for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The first list of Congress candidates came after Congress’ Delhi unit chief Sheila Dikshit shut the doors on the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had proposed that Congress and AAP should work together to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi that has seven Parliamentary constituencies currently represented by the BJP.
There is rising speculation about the probable candidates for Delhi’s Lok Sabha seats. For the New Delhi seat, the names of former Union minister Ajay Maken, Delhi Mahila Congress chief Sharmistha Mukherjee, AICC Grievance Cell chief Archana Dalmia and party secretary Manish Chatrath are doing the rounds.
Sources said that Maken is suffering from a prolonged physical illness, which has increased Mukherjee’s chances for the New Delhi constituency.
The Congress may field former three-time MLA and parliamentarian Mahabal Mishra from the West Delhi constituency in the upcoming general elections. Also, the name of a former legislator Devender Yadav is doing the rounds as a probable candidate from the same seat.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Mishra said: “In a democracy, everyone has the right to seek representation, but the Congress cannot forget my work in the area. I am hopeful that the party will recognise my long association and hard work in the constituency.”
“I have already started campaigning for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections by working to strengthen the booths in West Delhi constituency and the party understands my strong support among Poorwanchali voters,” Mishra said.
Poorvanchalis, migrants from Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, constitute nearly one-third of the total voters in the capital. The Poorvanchalis, who were earlier dominant in East and North East Delhi, now form a major vote bank in West and South West Delhi that were earlier dominated by Punjabis, Jats and Khatris.
Mishra said: “Seeing the importance of social media in the elections, I have also formed a team for the same to reach out to the people. In west Delhi, I have a special relationship with every household and that is supposed to go in my favour.”
“The BJP is making false and tall claims. Their Central government has failed to deliver during its tenure. The BJP is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name, but it will not work in Delhi,” Mishra said.
Speaking on the inability to strike an alliance with the AAP, Mishra said: “Congress supporters and I are not ready for any alliance with AAP as the Kejriwal-led AAP has not done anything for Delhi.”
Congress may again put up former MP J.P. Agarwal from the North East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. For the East Delhi seat, the names doing the rounds include that of former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely and former MP Sandeep Dikshit.
As per sources, Congress is likely to field Sandeep Dikshit from East Delhi.
For the Chandni Chowk seat, the name of Delhi minister Haroon Yusuf is doing the rounds. In North West Delhi, the names that are doing the rounds include former Delhi Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan and Rajesh Lilothia. The North-West Delhi constituency is a reserved seat.
For the South Delhi constituency, the names of MP Sajjan Kumar’s brother Ramesh Kumar and his son Jag Pravesh Kumar are doing the rounds.
The schedule for the Lok Sabha polls that are to be held this year is likely to be announced soon.