Former Delhi health minister Dr A K Walia Monday threatened to quit the Congress over alleged irregularities in ticket distribution for the upcoming municipal elections. In a letter to Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Maken, Walia raised concerns regarding “violations of party norms” in nominating candidates. According to sources, Walia — who served as a state minister in the Sheila Dikshit government — was unhappy over the party replacing him with another candidate.
The party, however, claimed that including fresh faces was the focus of its ticket distribution and that as many as 210 of the 272 candidates are first-timers. While the party had given its go-ahead to its 88 sitting councillors to contest the polls, only 54 found a place in the final list. Delhi Congress chief spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee said while only 136 seats have been reserved for women, the DPCC has fielded women from eight general wards to take the total number of women candidates to 144.
Former DPCC president and ex-MLA Subhash Chopra said “transparency” has been the hallmark of the candidate selection” this time. Over 39,000 grassroot workers were consulted on their choice of candidates from their wards, before the final selection of the candidates was done, he added. “A very balanced approach has been taken for ticket-distribution, keeping in mind the changing demography of Delhi,” Chopra said.