Councillors of the three municipal corporations in the capital — East, South and North — will not be in the race for MLA tickets in the upcoming assembly elections, Delhi BJP in-charge and national vice-president Shyam Jaju has told The Indian Express.
According to Jaju, the councillors were conveyed this by a senior leader in a recently held meeting, where they were asked to continue good work and not focus on getting a ticket.
The meeting was also attended by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is the BJP in-charge of Delhi polls. As per another senior leader, Javadekar had told councillors that the “Central leadership is not keen to field them as MLA candidates”, and that they should not seek tickets from party leaders. The minister had also said that the party decides on candidates on the basis of merit, and “survey reports and name-dropping by senior leaders would hardly be of any use”.
There are 181 BJP councillors in the three civic bodies. Among those hoping to bag a ticket are North body Standing committee head Jai Prakash (Sadar), former standing committee head of South MCD Shikha Rai (Greater Kailash), former mayor of South MCD Kamaljeet Shehrawat (Dwarka), former South body mayor Narendar Chawla (Tilak Nagar) and former North body mayor Adesh Gupta (Patel Nagar), it is learnt.
Another BJP leader said that even though some of the leaders were popular in their areas, the party is skeptical about the perception of “corruption in the MCDs”.
The leader said, “Many of these councillors became mayors and standing committee leaders because the party did not field any other senior leaders in the previous MCD polls. They should focus on governance.”
He added that councillors seeking tickets may face anti-incumbency as the BJP-ruled corporations have been in power for over two-and-a-half terms.
Senior BJP leaders have been vocal about the “negative perception of the three MCDs”, with Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel calling the building department of the civic bodies corrupt.