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No AAP-Congress tie-up in Delhi, Dikshit, Maken to contest polls

Last updated on: April 22, 2019 16:59 IST

Ending months of speculation over a possible tie-up with Aam Aadmi Party, the Congress on Monday fielded three-time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit from North-East Delhi and former Union minister Ajay Maken from New Delhi, as it announced the names of candidates for six Lok Sabha seats in the national capital.

IMAGE: Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit poses for a photograph after inaugurating Delhi Lok Sabha election 2019 control room at AICC party office in New Delhi. Photograph: ANI Photo

The Congress also fielded J P Agarwal from Chandni Chowk, Arvinder Singh Lovely from East Delhi, Rajesh Lilothia from North-West Delhi and Mahabal Mishra from West Delhi.

 

Eighty-one year old Dikshit, who took over from Maken as the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief earlier this year, was last a Member of Parliament from 1984-89 from Kannauj. She was the chief minister of Delhi for three terms between 1998 and 2013.

She had contested from East Delhi constituency in 1998, but lost.

Dikshit will take on Bharatiya Janata Party's sitting MP Manoj Tiwari and Aam Aadmi Party's Dilip Pandey.

Interestingly, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has not been named from the Chandni Chowk seat from which he has been fighting since 2004. After two terms, Sibal had lost to Union minister Harsh Vardhan in 2014.

Sibal had said last month that he will "certainly contest" from Delhi's Chandni Chowk seat in the Lok Sabha, irrespective of whether there is an alliance between his party and AAP.

Another interesting pick by the Congress is former DCC chief Lovely from East Delhi where he will take on AAP's Atishi. The BJP is yet to declare its candidate from the seat.

Lovely has held important portfolios such as a minister in Delhi. He had briefly joined the BJP, but returned to the Congress fold in 2018.

The Congress is yet to announce its candidate for the South Delhi seat.

In the 2014 national election, the BJP won all seven seats in Delhi.

Talks for an alliance between the Congress and AAP broke down over AAP's insistence that the grand old party should agree to share seats in Haryana, Chandigarh and Punjab apart from Delhi.

The AAP has already named its seven candidates in the national capital and party's West Delhi candidate Balbir Singh Jakhar had also filed his nomination papers on Thursday.

The other six candidates, who are expected to file their nominations soon are Chandni Chowk candidate Pankaj Gupta, East Delhi candidate Atishi, North West Delhi candidate Gugan Singh, South Delhi candidate Raghav Chadha, North East candidate Pandey and New Delhi candidate Brajesh Goel.

The BJP on Sunday fielded its four sitting MPs from Delhi -- Harsh Vardhan from Chandni Chowk, Manoj Tiwari from North-east Delhi, Pravesh Verma from West Delhi and Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi.

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