Unable to finalise an alliance with the AAP, the Congress seems set to contest the Lok Sabha polls alone in the capital. “We are going to announce the names of candidates for all seven seats on Sunday. We cannot delay it any further,” AICC general secretary P C Chacko told The Indian Express.
According to a senior party leader, the party has reshuffled candidates on a few seats. The names have been changed as the party has not arrived at a decision on an alliance with the AAP so far.
According to sources, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit is likely to contest from Chandni Chowk; Ajay Maken from New Delhi; Arvinder Singh Lovely from East Delhi; wrestler Sushil Kumar from West Delhi; Rajesh Lilothia from North West; JP Aggarwal from North East; and Ramesh Kumar, brother of 1984 riots case accused Sajjan Kumar, from South Delhi.
“I am born and brought up in East Delhi and have never lost any election in this constituency. If the party will allow me to contest, this will be the first time that a resident of East Delhi will be contesting from the same constituency,” Lovely told The Indian Express.
Dikshit, who had earlier refused to contest polls, told The Indian Express Saturday: “The party is my boss and I cannot refuse if they ask me to contest. Let us see what they have for me in mind.” According to senior leaders, party president Rahul Gandhi insisted that Dikshit contest from Chandni Chowk.
A new name that has emerged in the list is that of former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s brother Ramesh Kumar, who is likely to contest from South Delhi. Even before the announcement was made, a message congratulating him did the rounds on some online party forums Saturday. For the first time, the party might not field any Purvanchali candidate.