New Delhi: The BJP sees a big advantage to it in the 3-cornered Lok Sabha elections in Delhi because of the failure of the Congress-Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alliance as it quickly fielded five of its seven sitting MPs, including advocate Meenakshi Lekhi who was earlier told to make way for cricket Gautam Gambhir.
Tuesday was the last day for filing the nominations and all three parties already had their candidates declared only a day earlier in a bid to keep the rivals guessing. The BJP had planned some new faces but for collapse of the Congress-AAP alliance.
The Congress leaders blame AAP for sabotaging the alliance talks by pressing for seats in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh.
Both sides agree that they have given Delhi seats to the BJP on a platter. In 2014, they had together polled more votes than BJP on five seats, the BJP getting more votes than their combine tally only in Delhi North East and West Delhi.
In fact, AAP had come second to the BJP in all seven seats. Gambhir has been moved to East Delhi that accounts for a very large number of Bihari migrants in place of sitting MP Maheish Girri dropped for poor performance.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal because the casualty of the failure of the Congress-AAP alliance as he refused to stand from Chandni Chowk constituency he was nursing past four years as he sees no chance winning without the alliance. The Congress has now fielded former Delhi Congress chief and ex-MP J P Agrawal for the Chandni Chowk seat which is being defended by low profile union minister Harsh Vardhan.
Congress veteran and Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit (81), who was chief minister of Delhi for 15 years in a row, was initially projected from Chandni Chowk if Sibal backs out, but the party decided to send her to Delhi NE to take on poet-turned politician and Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari.
AAP has also fielded a Purvanchali, Dilip Pandey to cut his votes and no surprise if it helps Dikshit win the election.
Pitted against Gambhir are former Delhi minister Arvinder Singh Lovely of Congress and Atishi Marlena of AAP. Former
Delhi Congress chief and ex-minister Ajay Maken wll be taking on BJP”s Lekhi in New Delhi while AAP that was willing to give the seat to the Congress has entered Brijesh Goyal, little known in the area. The only surprise candidate in the Congress list is celebrity Haryana boxer Vijender Singh from South Delhi who had bagged bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He quickly resigned on Monday as a DSP of the Haryana Police.
The Congress brought him in to take on sitting BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri, after the party had to drop like hot potato its former MP Ramesh Kumar because of the Sikhs” protests as he is brother of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots convict Sajjan Kumar serving his term in Tihar Jails here. Young Raghav Chadha has been fielded for the seat by AAP.