The central leadership of the BJP assured its Delhi leaders that the list of candidates for Lok Sabha polls will be out by March 13. Sources said the assurance was given after the Delhi leaders complained that they were losing ground to the AAP and the Congress since BJP candidates were yet to be finalised.
In the election committee meeting of the party convened on Friday night, the Delhi leaders said local candidates should be given preference over outsiders.
The names of Subramaniam Swamy, Nirmala Sitharaman, M J Akbar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Mahesh Giri and others doing the rounds for the seven parliamentary seats in Delhi.
“It was discussed how the cadre was feeling demotivated as they believe that the party was overlooking local leaders in favour of outsiders who will not be seen in their constituencies after elections,” a senior leader who attended the meeting said.
Though no decision on whether MLAs would be allowed to contest was taken, leaders feel the delay in releasing the list of candidates is hurting the party.
“We have just got a month to campaign for elections and, even now, each seat has at least 10 candidates’ names against it. We are compromising on the winnability criteria,” another leader said.
The names that have been submitted for consideration on seven seats include Meenakshi Lekhi, Subramanian Swamy and Nirmala Sitharaman from New Delhi seat; Satish Upadhyay, Pravesh Verma, Ramesh Bidhuri and Sarita Choudhary from South Delhi; Sidhu, Hardeep Puri, R P Singh, Jagdish Mukhi, Nalin Kohli and Pravesh Verma from West Delhi; Mahesh Giri, Rambir Singh Bidhuri from East Delhi; Vani Tripathi, Naresh Gaur, Jai Bhagwan Goel, Lal Bihari Tiwari and Anil Jha from Northeast Delhi; Udit Raj, Ashok Pradhan, Yogendra Chandoliya and Anita Arya from Northwest Delhi; and Vijendra Gupta, Nalin Kohli, Mangat Ram Singhal and Nand Kishore Garg from Chandni Chowk.
The list includes several sitting MLAs. It is now up to the central election committee to finalise the candidates. According to sources, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s choice of candidates are likely to prevail in the final list.