Cong worried over anti-incumbency wave in Delhi

The Congress which occupies all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, is facing strong anti-incumbency in four constituencies and bracing for a tough fight in the other three ahead of the parliamentary elections, party sources said. 

Meanwhile, around two dozen aspirants have so applied for party tickets to contest from these seats.

An internal survey by party observers has indicated that in four constituencies – West Delhi, South Delhi, East Delhi and North West Delhi – a large chunk of voters are unhappy with the sitting MPs whose popularity has dipped, the sources said. 

In view of the finding, new and glamorous faces may be considered for a party ticket in the four seats, said a party leader. 

West Delhi is represented by Mahabal Mishra, South Delhi by Ramesh Kumar, East Delhi MP by Sandeep Dikshit and North West Delhi by Krishna Tirath, who is a Union Minister. Renomination of Ajay Maken from New Delhi and Kapil Sibal from Chandni Chowk is nearly confirmed, sources said.

From the North East constituency, sitting MP J P Agarwal is getting tough competition from senior leader Jagdish Tytler in the primaries.

The other primary election – in which party cadres and other block level units nominated a candidate – would be held in the New Delhi seat. Maken is sure to be the Congress candidate from the seat as no other application has been received for the primaries.  

The party has so far received around two dozen applications for five seats. Tuesday is the last day of filing applications. The highest number of nominations received so far is for South Delhi and for East Delhi there was one application from sitting MP Sandeep Dikshit, son of former chief minister Sheila Dikshit. 

Among the two dozen party ticket seekers are former Assembly seeker Yoganand Shastri  (South Delhi),  former Delhi minister Raj Kumar Chauhan (North West Delhi) and former councillor S K Puri (West Delhi). 

Shakeel Ahmad, AICC general secretary in-charge of the party’s affairs in Delhi, told Deccan Herald that the Central Election Committee will take up the applications of the five seats for initial screening on Tuesday evening. “After the initial examination of names, the names of potential candidates will be sent to the CWC,” he said, hinting that the first few names of Delhi candidates may be known by mid-March.

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