Vijender Gupta pitted against Sheila Dikshit in Delhi polls

Seeking to end Congress` stranglehold in Delhi, BJP on Wednesday released a list of its 62 candidates for the assembly elections.

New Delhi: Seeking to end Congress` stranglehold in Delhi, BJP on Wednesday released a list of its 62 candidates for the assembly elections pitting former state unit chief Vijender Gupta against formidable Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit while alloting four seats to ally Akali Dal.

The party`s Chief Ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan will contest from his present seat- Krishnanagar. All the 23 sitting MLAs have been re-nominated.

The list was made public after intense confabulations and consensus-building lasting over eight hours in the Central Election Committee which met here today. Names of candidates for four more seats are yet to be announced.

Gupta, who wanted to contest from Shalimar Bagh or Rohini, was asked to contest from New Delhi seat minutes before the candidates` list was announced. Dikshit is likely to contest from this seat while Aam Admi Party Chief Arvind Kejriwal will also enter the fray from here.
BJP sorted out its differences with key ally Shiromani Akali Dal and agreed to leave four seats for them. SAD will contest from Rajouri Garden, Hari Nagar, Kalkaji and Shahdara constituencies. SAD leader Naresh Gujral, who met the BJP leaders at the party headquarters here, said his party is happy with the outcome.

Sons of three senior BJP leaders have been given tickets
this time. Ajay Malhotra, son of Leader of the Opposition in Delhi assembly V K Malhotra, will fight the polls from Greater Kailash, former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma`s son Pravesh from Mehrauli and O P Babbar`s son Rajiv from Tilak Nagar.

State unit President Vijay Goel has decided not to contest the elections, sources said. The party had promised him a role in national politics when it asked him to agree to Vardhan`s name for the CM post last month.

Former Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra (Malviya Nagar), Jagdish Mukhi (Janakpuri), Shikha Rai (Kasturba Nagar), R P Singh (Rajinder Nagar), Ramesh Bidhuri (Tuglakabad), Nakul Bhardwaj (Patparganj) and O P Sharma (Vishwas Nagar) are the other prominent names in fray on BJP tickets.

Amid reports that BJP`s prospects in Delhi polls are dim, party`s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi kept away from the ticket distribution exercise today. Earlier, he had also not attended the Parliamentary Board meeting that finalised the name of Vardhan though he had given his consent.

The seat of Harinagar MLA Harcharan Singh Balli has been given to Akali Dal.

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