Delhi polls: Ajay Maken to lead Congress' campaign, list of 45 candidates on Wednesday

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday appointed party general secretary Ajay Maken as chairman of the Delhi campaign committee, said party leader PC Chacko.

Delhi polls: Ajay Maken to lead Congress' campaign, list of 45 candidates on Wednesday

New Delhi: The Congress high command, Tuesday, named party general secretary Ajay Maken as the head of party's 101-member campaign committee for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections.

“We have constituted a campaign committee for Delhi elections. Ajay Maken will chair the campaign committed for Delhi elections, we will announce list of some candidates tomorrow,” senior party leader PC Chacko told reporters at a press conference.

Chacko further said, “Sheila Dikshit has informed that she will be one of the main Congress campaigners.”

On being asked whether Maken will be the chief ministerial candidate, Chacko said, “Whoever it will be, they will be better than the rivals,” adding that the party will release the list of its 45 candidates tomorrow.

Meanwhile, according to reports, Maken – who had lost the Lok Sabha polls from New Delhi constituency - will contest the upcoming Assembly elections from the Sadar Bazar constituency.

Reacting to the development, Maken said, “Whatever responsibility the party gives me, I will take it up.” 

Maken, who was also present at the briefing, said he was the only Congress leader to return to contest Assembly elections after having won the Lok Sabha elections twice on the party ticket in the past.

The former union minister urged the electorate to give chance to a representative like him who was "trusted and tested" and had years of administrative experience in Delhi.

In the last 15 years, Maken has won three elections to the Delhi Assembly and twice to Parliament.

Also, pre-poll surveys have suggested that the battle for Delhi is essentially a tussle between the BJP and the AAP with the Congress predicted to end up with around 5 seats.

With less than a month to go before Delhi votes – February 7 – Maken has a tough task at hand to revive the party. 

Maken, who was made Transport and Power Minister in 2001 in the three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit cabinet, is credited with the privatisation of the electricity distribution as well as strengthening transport infrastructure in Delhi.

In 2004, he was appointed the Speaker of Legislative Assembly of Delhi, at the age of 39. He successfully contested the 2004 Lok Sabha polls defeating BJP’s Jagmohan in the New Delhi constituency. He retained the seat in 2009 Lok Sabha polls also but lost to BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi last year.

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