Will field MLAs for LS polls: Delhi BJP chief

After restructuring its executive committee,the BJP has now set its sights on the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. BJP president O P Kohli indicated the party is open to fielding MLAs for the Lower House.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:January 19, 2009 11:26 pm

After restructuring its executive committee,the BJP has now set its sights on the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. BJP president O P Kohli indicated the party is open to fielding MLAs for the Lower House.

This points to the possibility of the Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly,V K Malhotra,being given a green signal to contest on a MP ticket.

“It will depend on the candidate’s winnability,” Kohli said. He,however,didn’t name any MLAs who might be considered.

During the Assembly elections,the BJP had steadfastly denied tickets to MCD councillors,a step many party members later termed as fatal.

Speculation has been rife since the BJP’s defeat in the Assembly polls that Malhotra,BJP candidate for chief minister and former Lok Sabha Deputy Leader,would contest the Lok Sabha polls. Malhotra,who resigned from the Lok Sabha after the elections in November,had said he intended to keep his seat in the Delhi Assembly. When contacted,he said,“I am not inclined (to contest the Lok Sabha elections). Nothing has been decided. It (candidates) will be decided by the party.”

Interestingly,V K Malhotra won the only BJP seat from Delhi in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. He also won the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 1999 elections.

The names of other MLAs doing the rounds are that of former Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan and former Leader of Opposition Jagdish Mukhi.

While Harsh Vardhan has expressed disinclination,party sources said Mukhi had informed the party leadership of his desire to contest the Lok Sabha polls from the West Delhi seat a month ago. He could not be reached for comment.

Kohli said a list of probable candidates will be finalised by end of this month and will be sent to the Central Election Committee for approval. “Seven senior party observers will soon be appointed for the seven parliamentary constituencies in the Capital to identify potential candidates. These observers will consult grassroots-level workers and make recommendations accordingly,” he said.

Blaming a faulty selection of candidates for the party’s defeat in the Assembly election,Kohli said maximum care would be taken this time to issue ticket to the “most deserving” candidates.

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