Krishna Tirath, the sitting Congress MP for the Northwest Delhi constituency, on Monday criticised the BJP for selecting an “outsider” as the ticket holder for the constituency. She claimed that selecting Udit Raj as the candidate for the seat was an example of the BJP “insulting its voters”.
“The BJP is fielding an outsider in the constituency. People are not stupid and they can’t be insulted like this. And the people will take revenge for it,” Tirath said, while addressing a press conference at the Delhi Congress office in the capital.
However, the BJP, which won five of the 10 Assembly seats in the Northwest constituency, defended Raj’s candidature. It expressed confidence in the Dalit leader’s ability to lead the party to a massive win in Delhi’s only reserved constituency.
The Congress, which had won eight seats in the Assembly elections in December, has been attempting to consolidate their vote bank among the Valmiki community, whose support has traditionally been critical candidates from the New Delhi and Northwest constituencies.
Former MLA Charan Singh Kandera, a leader of the Delhi Balmiki Samaj and Safai Karamcharis, formally rejoined the Congress on Monday.
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He was accompanied by Municipal councillor from the Kotla Ward in Kasturba Nagar, Kusum Lata, and Ramesh Pehwal, both of whom also joined the party.
The former president of the Alipur Block Congress Committee, Virender Chauhan, also rejoined the Congress party today.
On Saturday, Ajay Maken, the sitting MP for the New Delhi constituency, had met safai karamcharis, their union leaders and members of the Valmiki community. Maken had said it was during his stint as the presiding officer of NDMC that the concerns pertaining to regularisation of safai karamcharis was brought up for the first time.
Meanwhile, the party also announced that Congress president Sonia Gandhi would be addressing an election rally on March 30.