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BJP strikes uneasy consensus over choice of candidates

The BJP leadership has reached an uneasy consensus on names for the seven parliamentary constituencies of the Capital,but with protests brewing...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 15, 2009 1:32:54 am

Vijay Goel to get Chandni Chowk,Jagdish Mukhi from New Delhi,say sources; senior leaders decide to review names after meeting at L K Advani’s residence

The BJP leadership has reached an uneasy consensus on names for the seven parliamentary constituencies of the Capital,but with protests brewing,the party is keeping its cards close to its chest,and deferring a formal announcement.

Party sources indicate that Vijay Goel has been shunted back to Chandni Chowk,while Janakpuri MLA Jagdish Mukhi has been asked to take over New Delhi,which Goel wanted.

Late Sahib Singh Verma’s son has been awarded the West Delhi seat – which the BJP is confident of winning. Two-time MLA Ramesh Biduri has also been rewarded with the South Delhi seat.

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Northwest has been given to Meera Kanwaria. B L Sharma Prem could be given Northeast Delhi,while former president Dr Harshvardhan could be accommodated in East Delhi.

Both Goel and Mukhi have made their displeasure over the decision clear. “Neither have I been officially told by the party to fight from the New Delhi seat nor I am too keen. For the last 35 years,I have been working in West Delhi,” Mukhi told Newsline. He is a four-time MLA from Janakpuri. In case Mukhi continues to be inflexible,Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra would get the seat.

Goel,meanwhile,was seen sulking in his office at Bengali Market the entire day,sending out feelers that he may not even fight the elections if given Chandni Chowk. He is,however,steering clear of any controversy. When asked whether he would actually refuse to fight the elections from Chandni Chowk,he shot back,“I am busy at present.”

Both Goel and Mukhi’s candidature has drawn sharp responses from the party leadership. In the weekly meeting of Delhi BJP’s office-bearers held at 4 pm at Pandit Pant Marg,several party workers raised the issue.

“Why is the party projecting unwilling candidates?” asked a senior Delhi BJP leader. To pacify the angry leaders,Delhi BJP president O P Kohli has promised to convey their opinions to party seniors.

After both Goel and Mukhi made their displeasure over the party’s decision clear,the senior leadership has decided to review the names of candidates in New Delhi,West Delhi,South Delhi and Chandni Chowk. This decision was taken at an informal meeting held at L K Advani’s residence late on Saturday evening. The meeting was attended by Arun Jaitley,O P Kohli and Vijay Kumar Malhotra.

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