With no chief ministerial candidate on the horizon for the BJP,Leader of Opposition and party veteran V K Malhotra has now thrown his hat into the ring. BJP sources said Malhotra has conveyed to the party leadership that he wishes to keep the Greater Kailash seat if his son Ajay Malhotra is denied a ticket. This comes at a time when party man Vijay Jolly has intensified a campaign to claim this constituency.
Malhotras decision has thrown open the field for the BJPs CM nominee weeks after the partys Delhi in-charge Nitin Gadkari said they would contest elections without a CM candidate. Other frontrunners include Delhi unit president Vijay Goel,veteran MLA Harsh Vardhan and,perhaps,a dark horse from outside Delhi.
Earlier Malhotra was only demanding a seat for his son. But now he has made it clear that he could also contest to keep the seat within the family. So his candidature cannot be ruled out for the CM post, a senior leader in the party said.
When his comments were sought,Malhotra said: I have suggested that a sitting MLA should not be removed unless there is something wrong with the image of the candidate. The party will decide whether my son or I should contest from Greater Kailash.
But with Jolly already campaigning in Greater Kailash,Malhotra faces a tough challenge. Jolly has distributed approximately 2.5 lakh pamphlets in the constituency,promising jobs to the youth,check on price rise,more security for women and senior citizens.
Jolly said: We have a tradition that senior leaders decide on the strongest candidate for any seat and demands from MLAs does not make any impact. We are a democratic party and everyone has right to put forward their views but final decision is of senior leaders.