A day after declaring the list of candidates for the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said the “soldiers of Narendra Modi” were selected to represent “every section of society”.
At a press conference, called to introduce the candidates, Harsh Vardhan said the BJP had often been accused of indulging in upper-caste politics. Stating that the party’s campaign would focus on inclusiveness, he said the BJP’s “balanced team” in Delhi would see a candidate from a different community contesting in each seat. “We have chosen prominent people from the primary sections of society in Delhi — Vaishya, Punjabi, Brahmin, Gujjar, Jat, Purvanchal and Dalit.”
Harsh Vardhan introduced Meenakshi Lekhi (the candidate from New Delhi) as “a Supreme Court lawyer, daughter-in-law of lawyer P N Lekhi and often seen on television in the role of the party’s senior spokesperson”.
Bhojpuri actor and singer Manoj Tiwari (candidate from Northeast Delhi) was introduced as the “face of Purvanchal”. Harsh Vardhan said Tiwari was instrumental in creating job opportunities for the community. He described BJP’s East Delhi candidate Maheish Girri as the man “who had taught many to how to live”.
MLA Pravesh Verma, the son of former CM and Jat leader late Sahib Singh Verma, will contest from West Delhi. While Verma was not present at the press conference, Harsh Vardhan praised him as one of the youngest faces of the party.
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Listing the issues he will take up during campaigning, Udit Raj, the candidate from reserved Northwest constituency, said, “Apart from the overall issues of development, issues pertaining to Dalit rights will be raised.”
Lekhi spoke about economic issues and national security. “Prices have risen exponentially in the last few years. Inflation and corruption go hand in hand.”
The BJP candidates also attacked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress. Ramesh Bidhuri, the candidate from South Delhi, said, “The Congress is dead. We will expose how the AAP has changed its character. We will tell people how they have betrayed them.”
Adopting a similar line, Raj said, “Kejriwal did not make any efforts to remove corruption from the (Income-Tax) department, where he once worked. This man is a complete anarchist.”
“The country is fed up of corruption. Congress is the face of corruption in this country. The other party — the AAP — is a symbol of anarchy and lies. Both these parties are dangerous for the country and society. The country needs a party which respects raj dharma,” Harsh Vardhan said.
Making a pitch for Narendra Modi, he said, “He is the only leader in India whose name is not associated with corruption. He is the first leader in India to be accepted by the country as their leader six to seven months before the elections.”