Ex-Cong MPs may contest polls

Party banking on charisma of senior netas to win Assembly elections

Former Union minister and Congress leader Krishna Tirath is likely to contest the next Assembly polls in the city from the Patel Nagar seat, said a party source.

The former woman and child development minister, who unsuccessfully contested the last Lok Sabha elections from the North West Delhi seat, said, “If the party directs me to contest the Assembly elections, I will do so.”

In such a scenario, she would want to go back to her old Assembly seat constituency of Patel Nagar, she said.

Tirath’s willingness to contest the Assembly polls is in contrast to some other former Lok Sabha MPs of the party who are not excited over joining the Assembly battle.

Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely has not ruled out fielding some of the former MPs in the Assembly poll.

“Our line up in the coming Assembly poll will be a mix of experience and youth,” he said, without ruling out the possibility of former MPs figuring in the first list of candidates.

Party sources said former New Delhi MP Ajay Maken, former Chandni Chowk MP Kapil Sibal and former East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit have not shown keen interest at the primary stage of discussions to field them in Assembly polls.

Poorvanchali leader and former West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra is keen to get down to winning ways by contesting the Assembly poll from Palam constituency.

Sources said party seniors are banking on the charisma of the ex-MPs to win Assembly segments which are much smaller than Lok Sabha constituencies.

The first list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls would be out soon after Congress leader P C Chacko replaces Shakeel Ahmed as incharge of the party’s Delhi unit, said a party leader.

The Delhi Congress is also looking to involve former Delhi chief minister and former Kerala governor Sheila Dikshit in the Assembly polls.

Dikshit, too, has not completely ruled out contesting the elections.
“Almost a third of the 70 candidates this time will be new faces,” said a Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee leader.

Dikshit’s daughter Latika Syed, 42, a social worker, and President Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmishtha, 48, an activist and Kathak dancer, are likely to make their political debuts on Congress tickets in the next Assembly polls, he said.

Sources said Syed is keen to take on her mother’s legacy and contest from the New Delhi Assembly constituency – won by Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal in the last polls.

Sharmishtha, a resident of Greater Kailash constituency, is keen to battle it out in her home ground hoping to encash her popularity following active participation in the Congress party’s agitations against power cuts. 

From 41 seats in the 2008 Assembly polls, the Congress crashed to eight in the last elections. The BJP and its ally, Akali Dal, won 32 seats and the AAP got 28 seats. There were two others.

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