DELHI BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the election committee for the upcoming municipal polls, which will decide the criteria to select candidates and issue tickets, will be formed after BJP chief Amit Shah’s rally on March 25. He added that the first and probably the last list of candidates will be out on March 27. Sources, however, said confusion prevailed in the party over the screening and the election committee. Senior leaders said as per the party’s constitution, the election committee is mandatory and is formed ahead of every election. “The election committee should have been constituted by now. That is the first step of deciding the criteria to shortlist candidates,” a senior party leader said.
Tiwari, however, said the screening committee has shortlisted candidates and tickets will be issued by the election committee. He added that based on recommendations of mandal and district presidents, the core committee and BJP MPs, 15 candidates per seat have been shortlisted. Asked how district presidents can suggest names as many of them are seeking to contest polls, Tiwari said, “The party is getting names from them. District presidents too are in the race for the post.”
The Delhi chief also said there will be a minimum age criteria for candidates to contest the polls. “The average age we have for candidates is 45 years. But there could be one or two in their 60s,” he said. Sources added that the party could make an exception to its decision to not allow sitting councillors to contest this time, and give tickets to those who contested the MCD bypolls. Councillors, however, met senior leaders to voice their grievances. “If they give tickets to any sitting councillor, no matter what the reason is, it would be cheating all of us who have worked for years. The rule should apply to all and no exception should be made for anyone,” a senior councillor said.
Disqualify 11 AAP MLAs occupying office of profit: Tiwari to President
The Delhi BJP has written to President Pranab Mukherjee demanding the disqualification of 11 AAP MLAs who are allegedly occupying offices of profit. Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari said, “These MLAs were wrongfully appointed as co-chairpersons of District Disaster Management Committees on April 2015, violating the Office of Profit. We request the President to forward this to the Election Commission of India for speedy disposal.”
However, a government spokesperson said the MLAs were nominated as co-chairpersons in accordance with the rules. “The notification, issued on 19.01.2015 by the Lieutenant Governor’s office when Delhi was under President’s rule, clearly states that MLAs can be co-chairpersons,” the spokesperson said. The names of four MLAs listed by Tiwari also figure among the 21 MLAs who were appointed as parliamentary secretaries by the government. The Election Commission is currently seized of the matter.