NEW DELHI: A former Congress MP, two international cricketers and a senior central leader may emerge as the surprise picks of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as the party prepares to release its list of candidates for all seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital. The list is likely to be out by March 10, party sources said.
A senior party leader, privy to the development, said if Delhi goes to vote in first phase of the LS polls, the party might finalise the names of candidates within a week.
“The names of a former Delhi Congress MP, a senior central party leader, along with those of former cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, are being considered and may emerge as surprise contenders for the seats. Apart from all seven sitting MPs, more than 24 state leaders, including former MLAs, councillors and student leaders belonging to Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) are proposing names for the general elections,” the Delhi BJP leader said.
The names of Gambhir and Sehwag for the New Delhi seat has been doing the rounds for long, but neither have indicated their desire to put their hats into the ring.Senior Supreme Court lawyer Meenakshi Lekhi is the sitting MP from New Delhi. Since hanging up his cricketing boots, Gambhir has often taken to Twitter criticizing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
A senior state functionary said several state leaders have been holding meetings with the party’s central leadership and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, staking claim for Lok Sabha tickets. He said the party may veer to the former Congress MP as the nominee from West Delhi.
“The former Congress MP may join our party before the polls. If he is not given a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections, he will be fielded for the Delhi Assembly elections, scheduled next year,” the BJP leader said.
Lobbying on for seven Delhi seats
A Delhi BJP leader said one or two sitting BJP MPs might be asked to contest the Lok Sabha polls from other states. Ramveer Singh Bidhuri is one of the contenders for the South Delhi seat. A three-time legislator, Bidhuri forayed into politics as a Congress leader and was elected an MLA for the first time from Badarpur in 1993 on a Janata Dal ticket. He later won the seat on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket in 2003. Presently, he is the Lok Sabha MP from South Delhi