PARTIES FRET OVER FACES AS DELHI BATTLE HOTS UP
Mail Today|January 14, 2020
AAP, BJP & Congress redraw game plans for Feb 8 polls, scramble to pick right candidates and star campaigners
Gulam Jeelani

WITH the National Capital set to vote and elect a new 70member Assembly in less than a month, it’s a race against time for AAP, BJP and Congress to choose the right candidates.

AAP may deny tickets to many MLAs as report cards on their performance suggest they’re not worth repeating. Senior leaders, who lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Delhi seats, are likely to be fielded though.

BJP’s top brass is holding back-to-back marathon meetings, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, to finalize candidates. The party’s election committee has shortlisted names and the first list might come this week, sources said.

In the Congress camp, president Sonia Gandhi herself is leading discussions to pick right faces for the February 8 high stakes triangular contest. Eighteen names have been discussed for tickets, sources said. The first list is likely this week. The last date for filing nominations is January 21.

THE AAP GAME PLAN

AAP’s Political Affairs Committee is expected to meet and announce names soon. The party may field Atishi, Raghav Chadha and Dilip Pandey, who were decimated in the Modi tsunami. Chadha has hired election volunteers, a party insider said.

The party is likely to stick to "3Cs" rule of (no) corruption, (no) criminal record and (good) character while choosing candidates.

“Selection will depend on the feedback we receive from the constituency. If it is in favour of the MLA, he/she will be repeated. If not, we will go for a new face,” said Sanjay Singh, AAP’s Rajya Sabha member and in-charge of the Delhi polls.

AAP hopes to retain power on the basis of its ‘performance’. It is banking on its populist schemes related to power, water and transport, besides what it has done to ‘boost education and health facilities’.

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