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Thursday, October 21, 2021

No takers for Chandni Chowk

After more than three weeks of serious discussions,the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit hasn’t reached a consensus on the tickets for the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi — the New Delhi seat is the main bone of contention.

Written by Sobhana K | New York |
March 17, 2009 1:08:58 am

Reasons behind Vijay Goel’s reluctance to contest from the constituency go far and deep

After more than three weeks of serious discussions,the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit hasn’t reached a consensus on the tickets for the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi — the New Delhi seat is the main bone of contention.

The party is finding it difficult to convince former MP Vijay Goel to contest from Chandni Chowk. The party will now once again discuss the issue in the Central Election Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

So far,Goel’s argument has been that post-delimitation the biggest chunk of the erstwhile Sadar Bazaar constituency (from where he contested the Lok Sabha election last time) falls in the New Delhi constituency.

This is borne out by the recent wins of the Congress in the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency (if its assembly segments are taken into account). Congress’ strong showing there could be the biggest reason for Goel’s reluctance to contest from the seat.

He has even threatened to resign over the issue. “He has been throwing fits and saying that how can he go begging when all other general secretaries of the party have been given a free hand to choose any seat,” a senior party leader said.

The reasons for Goel’s reluctance to contest from Chandni Chowkgo deep. Party insiders say hisunwillingness to contest from the constituency has been fuelled by certain factors taking shape for more than a year.

“Over a year ago,Goel was rebuffed at a public meeting he held at the Rajwada Banquet Hall at GT Karnal Road by councillors from the Chandni Chowk constituency for his bad behaviour,” a senior leader said.

Since then,he has been falling out of favour with the BJP workers and councillors in the area.

During the Assembly elections last year,out of the 10 seats in the Chandni Chowk constituency,BJP won only two—Shalimar Bagh and Shakur Basti. Out of these two,MLA from Shakur Basti,Shyam Lal Garg,openly speaks against Goel. Other MLAs have also blamed him for the defeat.

Also,in the 2007 organisational elections candidates supported by Goel,including his personal assistant Satpal Bhatia,failed to win the critical post of Chandni Chowk and Sadar Bazaar district president.

However,party leaders feel Goel is not a natural choice for the New Delhi constituency,which has 20 per cent Punjabi population. The bania community,to which Goel belongs,is merely 6.25 per cent of the total electorate.

Now,BJP president Rajnath Singh has been assigned to convince Goel to accept the party’s decision. And Goel says he will. “I will accept whatever the party decides,” he told Newsline.

Vijay Goel’s ‘LS file’
1996
Sadar Bazaar (won)

1998
Chandni Chowk (won)

1999
Chandni Chowk (won)

2004
Sadar Bazaar (lost to Jagdish Tytler)

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