Delhi Assembly Elections: Congress Announces First List Of 54 Candidates

Neither the Congress nor the BJP have named candidates for the New Delhi seat from which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will contest

Delhi Assembly Elections: Congress Announces First List Of 54 Candidates

Assembly elections in Delhi are scheduled on February 8 with results due three days later

New Delhi:

The Congress this evening announced a first list of 54 candidates for Delhi Assembly elections scheduled for next month, with former AAP leader Alka Lamba, former ministers Arvinder Singh Lovely and Ashok Walia, and Poonam Azad, wife of Kirti Azad, the election campaign committee chairman, among the names on the document. A further 12 candidates are expected to be announced soon, with the remaining four seats given to alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

The list comes a day after the BJP announced candidates for 57 seats and three days after the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) revealed a full list of 70 candidates. Neither the Congress nor the BJP have named candidates for the New Delhi seat from where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will contest.

The Congress will field Lakshman Rawat against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the Patparganj seat; the BJP has fielded Ravi Negi from this seat.

Former AAP leader Alka Lamba will contest the Chandni Chowk seat against the Aam Aadmi Party's Parlad Singh Sawhney and the BJP's Suman Kumar Gupta.

Former Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, who lost the fight for the East Delhi Lok Sabha seat last year to the BJP's Gautam Gambhir, has been named from the Gandhi Nagar seat against the AAP's Naveen Choudhary.

The party will also field former Union Minister Krishna Tirath from Patel Nagar and Mateen Ahmed from the Seelampur seat that saw violent protests last month over the citizenship law.

Former Urban Development Minister and four-time MLA Ashok Walia will contest from Krishna Nagar against the AAP's SK Bagga.

Shivani Chopra, daughter of three-time MLA Subhash Chopra, will attempt to continue her father's legacy in the Kalkaji constituency, where she will face the AAP's Atishi.

The party has also named Rajesh Lilotia, who lost the North West Delhi Lok Sabha seat to the BJP's Hans Raj Hans, to the Mangolpuri seat.

Among the names in the list is also Dwaraka MLA Adarsh Shastri, who quit the AAP and joined the Congress hours before he was fielded from the same seat.

Yesterday the Congress released its campaign song "Phir Se Congress Wali Delhi (Congress rule in Delhi again)", which draws heavily from the 15-year stint of late former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

The AAP has also released its campaign song and slogan - "Lage Raho Kejriwal (keep going with Kejriwal)" and "Ache beete 5 saal, lage raho Kejriwal (Past five years have been good, keep going with Kejriwal'), respectively.

Former UP Chief Minister Mayawati's BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) also released a first list of candidates for the Delhi election, naming 42 candidates; a second list for the remaining seats is expected Sunday.

On the BSP's first list are Narayan Dutt Sharma, the former AAP MLA from Badarpur, who quit after the party gave his ticket to Ram Singh Netaji, will attempt to defend his seat. Interestingly, Ram Singh Netaji won the Badarpur seat in 2008 on a BSP ticket.

The ruling AAP is seeking re-election in next month's polls after recording a massive win in 2015 elections; the party won 67 of 70 seats, with the remaining three going to the BJP and the Congress, which had been in power between 1998 and 2013, drawing a blank.

Delhi Assembly's term ends on February 22 and a new government must be in place before that date.

In the 2015 polls the AAP emerged with 54.3 per cent of the vote share. The BJP was second with 32.3 per cent and the Congress trailed with a poor 9.7 per cent.

With input from PTI

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