NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Assembly polls, Congress leader and the prominent face of the party in Delhi, Ajay Maken, on Tuesday, said he was ready for a debate with the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi and AAP’s candidate Arvind Kejriwal. He was responding to Kejriwal’s challenge to Bedi to attend a public debate. The Congress leader said: “This will be a healthy tradition. I believe a structured debate should take place on a mutually accepted TV channel or through a news agency, moderated by a mutually accepted anchor”.
BJP’s Chief Ministerial nominee Kiran Bedi on Tuesday dodged Kejriwal’s challenge for an open debate on crucial issues facing the city while Congress’ Ajay Maken expressed readiness for such a “healthy” exercise in the run up to the Assembly polls. “I accept the challenge. I will do it in the Assembly and before that I am focusing on delivery rather than on debates because that’s what he’s been doing. He’s only been debating. What I am doing is delivery of goals, services, programmes,” said Bedi.
Maken, who is also the Congress Campaign Committee Chief, said the debate would enable the leaders of political parties to present their vision before the public effectively.
Earlier,sparking a series of arguments, Kejriwal tweeted: “I think this is the best way for the leadership to answer difficult questions that are raised and spell out their vision to the public in the age of Internet and social media.” In response to this Maken retweeted, “Great! I am ready for a structured debate. Let people of Delhi make a comparative assessment.”
Meanwhile, Surender Prakash Sharma, a close associate of party’s State President Arvinder Singh Lovely, was made the candidate for Gandhi Nagar Assembly constituency after AICC asked Lovely to withdraw his nomination. The decision was announced by P C Chacko, senior Congress leader and in-charge of party affairs in Delhi.
Lovely had figured in the party’s first list of candidates which also included seven other sitting MLAs. The party also named Meenakshi Chandila to be the candidte for the Rajouri Garden seat instead of Dhanwati Chandila. The party’s decision to give tickets to Chandelas had left many surprised. Earlier, Meenakashi Chandela served as the councilor from Rajouri Garden.