Agarwal wins Cong primary

Agarwal wins Cong primary

North East Delhi MP and Congress leader J P Agarwal defeated his nearest rival in a party primary election to stake a stronger claim for a renomination in the April 10 elections.

Agarwal’s challenger, former Delhi legislator Rajesh Lilothia, failed to muster enough number of proposers to be eligible to contest in the primaries but the party leaders allowed the contest to take place as an experiment, said a party leader.

The sitting MP beat Lilothia by a margin of 211 votes. Out of an electoral college of 365 voters, only 307 cast their ballot. “Out of the 299 valid votes, Agarwal polled 255 votes and Lilothia got 44,” said Delhi Congress leader.

With a favourable outcome of the primary poll, Agarwal, a former Delhi Congress chief, is sure to be the official party candidate from the seat that is dominated by Muslim voters, said a leader.

Senior party leader Jagdish Tytler, who was in the primary race against Agarwal, withdrew his nominations last week.

The Congress had decided to hold primaries for selecting candidates for two Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi. North East Delhi and New Delhi seats were chosen for the exercise.

No voting

No voting took place in New Delhi primary as Ajay Maken, the sitting MP from New Delhi seat, was the lone applicant.

Party sources said that the names of Maken and Agarwal are likely to be forwarded along with five other nominees who will be chosen by central election committee, according to Shakeel Ahmad, All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of the party’s affairs in Delhi.

The Congress is continuing its campaign to reconnect with its voters in slums and unauthorised colonies, who allegedly deserted the party in the December 2013 Assembly polls.

Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh said the party had chalked out a massive campaign to send over one lakh smses to voters to inform them about the party’s stand on various issues.

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