Gearing up for the Lok Sabha polls, around 70 leaders from the Congress have filed applications to contest the seven seats in Delhi. From ex-MLAs to former MPs, the list of applicants is extensive. All seven constituencies are currently with the BJP.
The applicants will be vetted by a screening committee of the party and names of those shortlisted will be sent to Congress president Rahul Gandhi by the end of this month. The committee includes Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit, AICC secretary Kuljeet Singh Nakra, and AICC general secretaries P C Chacko and K C Venugopal. The committee will choose around three names from each seat, sources said.
Of the seven constituencies, Chandni Chowk is among the most preferred, with many senior leaders vying for it. According to the sources, DPCC working president Haroon Yusuf, J P Aggarwal, Shoaib Iqbal and Sharmistha Mukherjee are contending for the ticket. Mukherjee recently resigned from the post of communications head of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee.
“It is one of the safest seats among all constituencies due to which it has become the most popular among applicants,” said a party leader.
Former Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken is the sole probable candidate from New Delhi constituency. From East Delhi, Dikshit’s son Sandeep Dikshit, Dr A K Walia, Arvinder Singh Lovely and Naseeb Singh have applied.
According to sources, Kirti Azad may be fielded against Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari in Northeast Delhi constituency. Other names include Rajkumar Chauhan, Rajesh Lilothia, Surender Kumar and Jai Kishan for Northwest Delhi; Yoganand Shastri and Chatar Singh for South Delhi; Devender Yadav, Sumesh Shokeen and Mahabal Mishra for West Delhi.
Meanwhile, the election committee of the Delhi Congress Thursday unanimously passed a resolution authorising Gandhi to choose the candidates: “Congress workers in Delhi will wholeheartedly support candidates finalised by the Congress president and work tirelessly to make sure that the party is victorious in all seven Lok Sabha seats,” it said.