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DELHI- Old warhorses, new faces in Cong first candidate list

January 19, 2020 05:28 AM

COURTESY HT JAN 19

Old warhorses, new faces in Cong first candidate list
Delhi polls Congress names 54 candidates, Sheila’s ministers to lead fight against AAP and BJP; party yet to name Kejrwal’s opponent; may enter into poll pact with RJD in four seats  party heavyweights

soumya.pillai@htlive.com

New Delhi : Former ministers of Sheila Dikshit’s cabinet, heavyweights, and relatives of senior party leaders will lead the Congress in the February 8 Delhi Assembly elections. The Delhi Congress on Saturday released a list of 54 candidates who will fight the Delhi polls on the party’s tickets. The list features five former cabinet ministers — Arvinder Singh Lovely, AK Walia, Haroon Yusuf, Krishna Tirath and Narender Nath.

The 16 constituencies for which the party is yet to announce names include New Delhi, the seat from which Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is contesting. Senior party leaders said the party is likely to contest four of the remaining seats in a partnership with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Relying on old heavyweights, the Congress has fielded Mateen Ahmed from Seelampur, Veer Singh Dhingan from Seemapuri, Talvinder Singh Marwah from Jangpura and Devender Yadav from Badli. The second generation of senior leaders also found a place in the list.

Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra’s daughter Shivani has been pitched from Kalkaji, former Delhi Assembly speaker Yoganand Shastri’s daughter Priyanka will fight the elections on the Congress ticket from RK Puram, and former Model Town MLA Kunwar Karan Singh’s daughter Akansha Ola is representing the party from the same constituency. “We have thoroughly screened the applicants and finally come out with the list. Each candidate is worthy of a ticket from the party,” said PC Chacko, All India Congress Committee (AICC) Delhi in-charge.

Arvinder Singh Lovely, who had held portfolios such as education, urban development and transport, has been fielded from east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar. He was elected from the same seat four times and was also the party’s candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from east Delhi.

Former union minister of women and child development Krishna Tirath has been fielded from the reserved constituency of Patel Nagar. The Congress party for the last three elections had fielded former Delhi Congress working president Rajesh Lilothia from this seat. This time, Lilothia will be contesting from Mangolpuri.

Seventy one-year-old former Delhi health minister AK Walia will be the party’s face from Krishna Nagar, which has traditionally been witness to a war of heavyweights. Incumbent Union minister of science and technology and the minister of health and family welfare Harsh Vardhan represented the constituency from 1993 to 2013. In the 2015 elections, BJP’s then CM face Kiran Bedi had contested from the same seat. Haroon Yusuf and Narender Nath have both been trusted with their old-time constituency Ballimaran and Shahdara. The Congress fielded Mateen Ahmed from Seelampur, Talvinder Singh Marwah from Jangpura and Devender Yadav from Badli.

Second generation

Many senior leaders from the Congress have passed on the baton to their children and spouses. Chopra’s daughter Shivani will represent the party from her father’s constituency Kalkaji, from where he has contested and won three times.

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