While both the BJP and the AAP have rolled out their campaigns seeking “full majority” in Delhi Assembly elections, the Congress has set a rather modest goal. Senior leaders said the party is eying to double its tally from eight to 16 and could put up “strong” candidates, including couple of former MPs, hoping to ride on their support.
While the All India Congress Committee wants most of the MPs to contest, many are believed to have refused. Sources said two of them — Krishna Tirath and Mahabal Mishra — could still enter the race. Ajay Maken, who lost from New Delhi, is also being persuaded to contest from the Rajouri Garden seat. The idea, sources said, was to give the campaign a prominent face, given that former chief minister Sheila Dikshit too has refused to contest elections.
However, sources said she will actively campaign and will probably address more meetings than anyone else.
Sources said while Maken was neither keen to contest nor lead the campaign, the matter is under active consideration.
While the BJP and the AAP have taken a lead when it comes to campaigning, the Congress hopes to catch up in the coming days. It came out with the first list of 24 candidates on Thursday. Sources said it has booked around 25 per cent of the available advertisement space and hoardings are likely to come up in the coming days.
The party is planning to have all its chief ministers campaign for Delhi. Besides, 70 MLAs from Hindi-speaking states have been asked to campaign as well.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi will kick off the campaign addressing with a rally in the second week of January. Between them, they are expected to address seven to eight rallies.