BJP Sticks With Its Last-Minute Choice Against Arvind Kejriwal

This morning, reports suggested that Sunil Yadav was upset at being fielded against Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi assembly seat for the February 8 election.

Sunil Yadav, a lawyer, was named in the BJP's second list of candidates announced past midnight

New Delhi:

The BJP candidate against Arvind Kejriwal for the Delhi election almost changed on Tuesday morning amid reports that Sunil Yadav was upset about being pitted against the high-profile Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and had asked the ruling party to shift him to a different seat.

Sunil Yadav, a lawyer, was named in the BJP's second list of candidates announced past midnight on Monday, hours before the deadline for nominations.

On Tuesday morning, reports suggested that Sunil Yadav was upset at being fielded against Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi assembly seat for the February 8 election.

Sources said Mr Yadav met with BJP's new president JP Nadda and requested him to assign him another seat where he would not be viewed a write-off. The young chief of the BJP's youth wing reportedly expressed the worry that this contest would end his political career. Mr Nadda, say sources, firmly told him that he would remain the candidate from New Delhi.

Later, Mr Yadav rubbished any talk about wanting a different seat. Reacting to the descriptor of a "low profile candidate in a high profile seat", he told NDTV: "Was Kejriwal high profile when he first contested against Sheila Dikshit?"

He said he had vowed to the party that he would defeat Mr Kejriwal or never contest polls again.

"BJP has chosen me because I am a local here and the people consider me their own. It is a fight against the local versus outsider," Mr Yadav said.

Asked why he avoided speaking to the media in the morning, when there were reports of him being replaced, the BJP leader replied: "I got my ticket at 2 am. It is the media that said I was being replaced."

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