On Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri's remark indicating MP Manoj Tiwari could be BJP's chief ministerial candidate for next year's Delhi polls, the Aam Aadmi Party has taken a sharp jibe at the party, saying the move ensures AAP will surpass its 2015 record of winning most assembly seats ever in the national capital.
Mr Puri, at an event on Sunday, said the party was going to contest the Delhi Assembly election under the Delhi BJP chief's leadership.
"We are going to fight the assembly elections under the leadership of Manoj Tiwari ji and we will rest only after making him the Chief Minister," he was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
Retweeting a video of the event, in which Mr Puri is making the comment, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia sent out a congratulatory note.
"I congratulate Manoj Tiwari ji for being named as the BJP's chief ministerial candidate for Delhi Assembly election," he tweeted in Hindi.
"BJP has announced Manoj Tiwari's name as the party's CM face, now we will break our 2015 record," AAP MP Sanjay Singh tweeted, tagging Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Mr Puri later clarified that the BJP has not named anyone for the post.
"The BJP is poised for victory in Delhi. The party has not nominated anyone for the post of Chief minister so far. Shri Manoj Tiwari is the chief. The party is working enthusiastically under his leadership. My statement meant that the BJP would win the forthcoming elections with huge votes under his leadership," he was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
Manoj Tiwari had defeated late Congress veteran Sheila Dikshit from the New Delhi constituency in the national election. He was also the BJP's in-charge for Delhi, where the party later won all 7 Lok Sabha seats. A Bhojpuri singer and actor, Mr Tiwari is popular among migrants from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The BJP had contested the 2013 assembly elections under the leadership of Harsh Vardhan. After a fractured verdict, the AAP had formed government in alliance with the Congress, which lasted only 49 days.
In 2015, the party had placed its bet on Mr Kejriwal's associate Kiran Bedi. The experiment failed miserably as the party's tally came crashing down from 31 to just 3 seats. The AAP had won 67 out of 70 Delhi assembly seats.
With inputs from PTI, ANI