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Delhi: Rejected candidates to make it tough for BJP

Source: PTI
March 20, 2009 19:29 IST
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A day after releasing the list of candidates for the Delhi Lok Sabha seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party is facing rebellion from rejected local ticket aspirants who will make it tough for the party at the hustings for nominating "outsiders".

Workers of the saffron party have claimed the candidates in at least four of the seven constituencies, including West- Delhi, New Delhi, North-East Delhi and East Delhi were not the right choices and declared some of them as "outsiders".

A large number of supporters of Pervesh Verma, son of former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma, who was eyeing West Delhi Parliamentary seat, on Friday gheraoed senior party leader L K Advani's residence for not declaring Parvesh as a party candidate.

Parvesh was seeking ticket to contest the Outer Delhi seat, which was won by his father many times.

On Thursday, he did not feature in the list of candidates declared by the party. Former leader of opposition in Delhi assembly and sitting Member of Legislative Assembly Jagdish Mukhi has been nominated from the West Delhi seat, which has major areas carved out of the Outer Delhi constituency after the delimitation.

"Supporters of my late father Saheb Singh Verma have been offended. They have gathered to convey their sentiments," Pravesh Verma told PTI when contacted.

In New Delhi parliamentary constituency, it would not be a  cakewalk for former Union minister Vijay Goel as he would have to face stiff opposition from area councillor of the party and Mayor Aarti Mehra who was keen to contest from the seat.

"He (Goel) had threatened to resign from the party if he was not given ticket from New Delhi seat. This will set a bad precedent," a party leader said.

Putting up a brave face, Mehra said she was almost certain that she would get the ticket. "But this is all part of politics. I am a disciplined soldier of the party."

Another senior party leader claimed Goel will not be able to win from the seat as Congress' Ajay Maken, who is almost certain to fight from the seat, is a "strong contender".

On 80-year-old B L Sharma 'Prem', who will contest from the North East Delhi parliamentary seat, the BJP leader said he was "too old" for the rigours of campaigning.

"The party should have instead fielded a young face," the leader said.

Cricketer-turned-politician Chetan Chauhan who has been asked to contest from East Delhi is not the choice of many grass root workers who consider him as an "outsider".

"He has no presence in the area. Instead Harshvardhan would have been better choice," a senior party leader added.

Although Delhi unit president O P Kohli is trying to placate the feuding factions, infighting is also reportedly increasing among senior leaders. A senior BJP leader said, "Lack of cohesion among senior leaders may demoralise grass root workers."

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