After intense confabulations and consensus-building lasting over eight hours, BJP on Wednesday announced the names of 62 candidates for Delhi assembly elections and decided to field former state unit president Vijendra Gupta against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
Gupta, who wanted to contest from Shalimar Bagh or Rohini, was asked to contest from New Delhi seat minutes before the candidate list was announced. Dikshit is likely tocontest from this seat while Aam Admi Party Chief Arvind Kejriwal will also enter the fray.
BJP sorted out its differences with key ally Shiromani Akali Dal and agreed to leave four seats for them. SAD will contest from RajouriGarden, Hari Nagar, Kalkaji and Shahdara constituencies. SAD leader Naresh Gujral, who met the BJP leaders at the party headquarters here, said his party is happy with the outcome.
Party's Chief Ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan will contest from his present seat- Krishnanagar.
Sons of three senior BJP leaders have been given tickets this time. Ajay Malhotra, son of Leader of the Opposition in Delhi assembly V K Malhotra, will fight the polls from Greater Kailash, former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma's son Pravesh from Mehrauli and O P Babbar's son Rajiv from Tilak Nagar.
State unit President Vijay Goel has decided not to contest the elections, sources said. The party had promised him a role in national politics when it asked him to agree to Vardhan's name for the CM post last month.
Former Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra (Malviya Nagar), Jagdish Mukhi (Jagdish Mukhi), Shikha Rai (Kasturba Nagar), R P Singh (Rajinder Nagar), Ramesh Bidhuri (Tuglakabad), Nakul Bhardwaj (Patparganj) and O P Sharma (Vishwas Nagar) are the other prominent names in fray on BJP tickets.
Amid reports that BJP's prospects in Delhi polls are dim, party's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi kept away from the ticket distribution exercise today. Earlier, he had also not attended the Parliamentary Board meeting that finalised the name of Vardhan though he had given his consent.