Delhi assembly polls 2013: Frontrunners for CM candidate in BJP

By Hemant Abhishek | Last Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 - 00:17

Zee Media Bureau/Hemant Abhishek

Delhi, the nation’s seat of power, holds paramount importance for all political parties, more so for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is leaving no stones unturned to upstage Sheila Dikshit’s bid for a fourth term in the capital. BJP is banking on an anti-incumbency wave to upstage the Congress, but has so far failed to put its own house in order as far as projecting a unanimous chief ministerial candidate is concerned.

The 15-year-long wait for power combined with a massive turnout for Narendra Modi’s rally in the capital has rekindled the hopes of the likes of Vijay Goel, Dr Harsh Vardhan and Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who have long served the party cadre.

Among those seen as frontrunners in the BJP for the chief-ministerial race, are:

Vijay Goel – He was appointed as the chief of Delhi BJP in February this year and one of the pre-poll surveys stated that he and Sheila Dikshit were the favourites of 20% of the sample.

He staked his claim for the position before the party`s top leadership and indicated his opposition against any move to declare Harsh Vardhan`s name for it.

Goel on Sunday met BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, party chief Rajnath Singh, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and former party chief Nitin Gadkari and projected his case for the party`s chief ministerial candidate in Delhi saying that he had worked hard to strengthen BJP in the last eight months.

Harsh Vardhan – An ENT specialist from East Delhi, he was the health minister during the BJP government in Delhi in the 1990s. His positive and clean image might tilt the balance in his favour against Goel.

Vijay Kumar Malhotra — The octogenarian Delhi BJP leader surprisingly polled 6 per cent of the votes in a survey for CM; but after a wave of leadership change at the BJP’s helms it looks seemingly impossible that high command would entrust him with the leadership at the fag end of his political career.

Kiran Bedi — Recent reports suggested that BJP leaders approached the former top-cop offering her a poll ticket. She reportedly rejected the offer saying she wasn’t interested in electoral political. But BJP sources refused to comment when asked if party leaders were trying to persuade her, thereby fuelling the possibilities.

Meenakshi Lekhi — Having steadily climbed up the ranks in BJP, murmurs from among the party ranks suggest the BJP national spokesperson has an outsider’s chance for the post.

About the aforementioned survey: Views of 71,230 people were taken for the survey and it was conducted this month.

The result of the survey has been released amid rumblings in BJP following Goel`s assertion that he was a popular choice as party`s chief ministerial candidate amidst reports that Harsh Vardhan was a front runner for the post.

However, a number of Delhi BJP leaders opposed to Goel questioned the authenticity of the survey and indicated that he does not have any chance of becoming the candidate for the top post.

First Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 22:59

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