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AAP, Cong pose equal poll threat: BJP

Harsh Vardhan said winnability would be only criteria for ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha elections.

During the Assembly elections in Delhi, the BJP had downplayed the threat posed by the AAP to its own peril. During the Assembly elections in Delhi, the BJP had downplayed the threat posed by the AAP to its own peril.

BJP’s Delhi in-charge Prabhat Jha has said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) posed an equal threat to the party as the Congress. This is the first time the party has acknowledged the threat posed by Arvind Kejriwal’s party as it prepares for the Lok Sabha polls.

During the Assembly elections in Delhi, the BJP had downplayed the threat posed by the AAP to its own peril.

It could not form the government despite emerging the single-largest party. But the BJP doesn’t want to repeat the mistake in the Lok Sabha polls. “For us, both the Congress and the AAP are equal contenders in the Lok Sabha polls,” Jha said.

But months ahead of the polls, the Delhi BJP still seems to be in disarray with confusion reigning over finalisation of candidates. Speaking to Newsline, Jha said the list was likely to be announced by March-end.

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On the feedback about the party’s prospects, Jha said there was no stopping the Modi wave. “Even Kejriwal has accepted that there is a Modi wave in the country,” he said.

Asked whether late announcement of the list will harm candidates’ chances of victory — something that was blamed for the party’s lower-than-expected performance in the Assembly polls — Jha said, “We have many other tasks to finish. Declaration of the list of candidates is not a priority at the moment. The AAP can declare its candidates because it is focused on just one task and that is, the elections.”

Asked what will be the criteria for selection of candidates, the newly appointed Delhi in-charge said winnability will be the only parameter. He didn’t deny that MLAs would also be considered for tickets, but said, “For us, anyone who can win seats is a candidate. Our aim is to see Narendra Modi as the PM. We have not yet decided whether MLAs will contest, but candidates with winning potential will get tickets.”

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However, it is not just the candidates’ list that has been delayed. The party’s Delhi unit is yet to decide on its strategy to bolster the campaign for Modi. “For the time-being, we have started the ‘one note, one vote’ campaign. Cadres have been asked to complete this part of the campaign within a week,” Jha said.

Official who headed Kejriwal team shifted

Several top bureaucrats have been transferred in the first major reshuffle following the exit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and imposition of President’s rule in the national capital.

Rajendra Kumar, secretary to former CM Arvind Kejriwal, has been transferred as secretary (urban development) and director (local bodies), replacing S S Yadav. Kumar was apparently hand-picked by Kejriwal to head the CMO.

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Yadav has been transferred as secretary in the Food & Civil Supplies department. Food & Civil Supplies commissioner Arun Goyal has been given charge as principal secretary (power), replacing P K Goel.

The reshuffle is being seen as an attempt by L-G Najeeb Jung to stamp his authority on Delhi government as he administers the state on behalf of the President.

Others relieved of their duties are Jitendra Narain, Nandini Paliwal and More Ashish Madhaorao, who have been tranferred to Mizoram. Tojam Tolah, registrar (cooperative societies), has been transferred to Arunachal Pradesh.

A Yadav, secretary (industry), has been given additional charge of secretary (labour), a charge until now held by Narain.

A Mona Shreeniwas, additional director (education), has been given charge of deputy commissioner (north), replacing Madhaorao. Neha Bansal, SDM (Najafgarh), has been transferred to DJB as director (finance), replacing Nandini Paliwal.

First published on: 26-02-2014 at 03:01:27 am
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