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The stage is set for Delhi’s game of thrones

Last updated on May 1, 2019

The line-up for Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha constitutuencies from the three major political parties was finalised this week. Sashikala VP gives a round-up of candidates from each of the constituencies whose fate will be decided when the Capital goes to vote on May 12. The triangular contests will undergo a change if the Congress and AAP scrounge up a last-minute agreement on alliances. Meanwhile, Delhi voters can enjoy being wooed by a doctor, a chartered accountant, a couple of singers, a boxer, a former CM and a former CM’s son.

 

North East constituency

Manoj Tiwari

BJP

Age: 48

Education: Master’s in Physical Education

Known mostly as a Bhojpuri singer and then an actor, the present MP from the constituency first made his foray into politics with the Samajwadi Party.

After losing to current CM of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, switching sides to the BJP helped him become an MP in 2014.

Strength: The Purvanchali vote bank

Weakness: Defying Supreme Court orders, Tiwari broke the seals from homes which had been locked up for flouting building rules. The poor of the constituency blame the incumbent government for not doing enough for their development.

His words: Kejriwal’s party spreads falsehood of voter deletion to
mislead traders… Sometimes,
they pressure officers to implement sealing

Sheila Dixit

Congress

Age: 81

Education: Master’s in History, PhD in Philosophy

One of the most, if not the most famous political face in Delhi, the former CM got a drubbing in the 2013 Assembly elections. This time around, a loss will be harder to swallow as the Congress Delhi in-charge faces BJPs in-charge Manoj Tiwari.

Strength: Three-time MLA, former CM of Delhi has unmatched experience when it comes to her opponents. She has been credited with changing the infrastructure of the Capital city and bringing in the metro.

Weakness: She lost out massively in the Assembly elections. Her age may be counted as a disadvantage.

Her words: Look, CM Kejriwal, or
whoever it may be, should have known what the Constitution says about the Delhi set-up. You can’t blame somebody else for not being able to do something.

Dilip Pandey

AAP

Age: 38

Education: Master of Computer Application

The former convenor of the party, is the much lesser known contender in this three-way fight. But the party hopes that Pandey, originally from UP, would be a good opponent to Tiwari, bringing in the Purvanchali votes.

People in slums of the constituency back AAP’s work in the fields of education, health and the bringing down of electricity and water bills. This may work in his favour.

Strength: Anti-corruption activist.
AAP’s man in a constituency which has mostly appreciated the party’s work. Younger than his opponents.

Weakness: Lesser known than his
rivals.

No past governance experience

His words: When in 2015 she (Sheila Dikshit) couldn’t even win her own seat then people are asking how can she win the Lok Sabha seat where there are 10 Vidhan Sabha seats attached to it?­

WEST DELHI

PARVESH SINGH VERMA

BJP

Age: 41

Education: MBA (International Business) from Fore School of Management, Delhi

In West Delhi, the tussle is between anti-incumbency and PM Narendra Modi’s name.

Strength: Modi’s name.

Won in 2014 Lok Sabha elections by a margin of over 2.6 lakh votes beating AAP’s Jarnail Singh.

Weakness: The middle class of the area do not believe the MP has made much difference. They instead praise the AAP.

Criminal case: He has one case against him under IPC Section 353: relating to assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty.

His words: Results of Modi wave are for everyone to see. I was hopeful we would lead by a big margin and it is happening.

MAHABAL MISHRA

Congress

Age: 65

Education: 12th pass; Diploma in Transistor Theory

The three-time MLA became MP in the 2009 Lok Sabha election from West Delhi constituency. He lost in the 2014 election to BJP’s Parvesh Verma.

Strength: He has experience in politics, since 1997. He is a registered voter from Dwarka, so it is his home turf.

Weakness: His loss in the 2014 elections by a massive number of over 4 lakhs.

Criminal case: He has a case against him with serious charges including IPC section 366 which relates to kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her into marriage, etc.

His words: Parvesh Singh Sahib is a photocopy. He carries around the certificate of his father while I am an original.

Balbir Singh Jakhar

AAP

Age: 47

Education: LLB

A new entrant to the world of politics, his work with the AAP in the India against corruption movement is now reaping him some personal benefit.

Strengths: He is the president of the Dwarka Court Bar Association. Any person who views AAP in a positive light would like the candidate who has been associated with the party since its inception.

No criminal case unlike his opponents.

Weakness: No experience of governance unlike his two opponents.

His words: Keeping Delhi’s all-round welfare in mind, four years of AAP government’s work matters. Why not talk about education, health, jobs etc? Why just talk about religion and hate?

SOUTH DELHI

Ramesh Bidhuri

BJP

Age: 57

Education: BCom, LLB

The constituency has many JJ clusters and unauthorised colonies which are not happy with the BJP’s work. The sitting MP thus has a major task in front of him to consolidate support again.

He defeated the AAP candidate in 2014 by a margin of just over a lakh votes.

Strengths: Being a three-time MLA and a sitting MP means he has experience backing him.

Weakness: Many areas in his constituency say there has been no development.

Criminal case: He has four against him. One of the cases where cognisance was taken has IPC section 147 related to punishment for rioting.

Vijender Singh

Congress

Age: 33

Education: Bachelor’s degree

The young contender is a fresh entrant into politics and his past experience is boxing his opponents. The 2008 Beijing summer Olympics bronze medallist will be fighting against BJP’s sitting MP Ramesh Bidhuri and AAP spokesperson Raghav Chaddha.

He resigned from the post of a police officer in Haryana to join the party.

Strengths: He can bring in a large number of Jat and Gujjar votes. He can be the main attraction for young voters.

Weakness: No past experience

His words: I can’t see any Modi wave anywhere. People have identified the real face. Youth just want employment, they say ‘Jumlon se peth nahi bharega’.

Raghav Chaddha

AAP

Age: 30

Education: Chartered Accountant (BCom)

While this is his debut in electoral politics, his face is highly recognisable for being the AAP’s national spokesperson. He joined the India Against Corruption movement, has been with the party since its inception and is a member of the National Executive

Strengths: His experience of preparing policy papers for his party. The national treasurer for the AAP. Recognisable.

Weakness: At just 30, his age may be used against him.

His words: BJP wants to punish people of Delhi because they voted for us in 2015 and that is why they are creating hurdles in our development activities.

CHANDNI CHOWK

Harsh Vardhan

BJP

Age: 64

Education: MBBS, MS (ENT)

The winner from 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the same constituency, he defeated AAPs Ashutosh by over a lakh votes. He will be pitted against Congress’ old-timer Jai Parkash Agarwal and AAPs national secretary Pankaj Gupta.

Strength: Five-term MLA

Weakness: Chandni Chowk’s trading community faced the brunt of demonetisation. This could work against the incumbent MP.

Criminal cases: Two cases where cognisance was taken. One was charges related to voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty (IPC Section 332).

His words: It’s not a wave, it’s a tsunami. Modi Sarkar will come again. Just like in 2014, the people of Chandni Chowk are ready to make the lotus bloom in 2019.

JAI PRAKASH AGARWAL

Congress

Age: 74

Education: BA from Hansraj College

His stint with the Congress party began in 1973 and since then he has been the Mayor of Delhi and a four-term MP from the North-East constituency.

He lost to BJP’s Manoj Tiwari by 3.8 lakh votes.

Strength: His long-drawn experience. His past record with Chandni Chowk, winning the 1996 Lok Sabha elections from here. He is also an enrolled voter from here.

Weakness: He has also lost this seat to the BJP’s Vijay Goel in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections.

His words: I am from Chandni Chowk. I have campaigned for six elections from here. I was sent away from my home and now I have come back.

Pankaj Gupta

AAP

Age: 52

Education:  BE (Electronics)

National Secretary of the AAP, he has been the face behind the funds that helped the party take off. He was announced as the party’s ‘in-charge’ from the seat last year, giving him enough time to rally around voters.

Strength: Promises to act against the sealing driving.

Weakness: Taking on two well-established veterans of other parties.

His words: Full statehood was one of the major points in Mr Vardhan’s election manifesto five years back. He had even said that women in Delhi would not be completely safe till the police is under the Delhi government.

EAST delhi

Gautam Gambhir

BJP

Age: 37

Education: Dropped out from Hindu College

The newcomer to politics and the BJP, he will be riding on the back of his popularity as a cricketer to win votes. A vocal defender of BJPs various policies and positions, the party’s supporters will find it easy to back him.

Strength: Popularity

Weakness: No experience in governance

His words: I was a cricketer, I am not a cricketer [anymore]. I did what I had to do on the cricket field, it’s a different field and it’s a different challenge… I have always had the right intention to do something good for the country and change a lot of things in the society and hopefully I touch a lot of lives.

Arvinder Singh Lovely

Congress

Age: 50

Education: MA Public Admn From Congress to BJP and back to Congress, this four-time MLA first became Delhi Pradesh Youth Congress General Secretary in 1990. He left the party in 2017 for the old rival BJP but came back a year later.

He was elected to the Delhi Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1998 as a 20-year-old

Strength: Four-time MLA, Minister in the Sheila Dikshit government. Enrolled as voter from Gandhi Nagar, in the East

constituency.

He may bring the Sikh and Punjabi votes.

Weakness: Flip-flop

His words: I was an ideological misfit in BJP. It didn’t take long to realise that. Then I told myself, I should do as much as I can for my parent party.

Atishi Marlena

AAP

Age: 37

Education: BA (History) at St. Stephen’s College. Master’s from Oxford University on a Chevening scholarship. Rhodes scholar from Magdalene College.

The only other woman candidate from Delhi, she is credited with the transformation of state-run education system in the city. She is a stronger contender than her BJP counterpart owing to her service as advisor to Manish Sisodia. She is also the most educated out of the three.

Strength: The reported architect of Delhi’s education reforms.

Weakness: No former role in

governance. Removed her last name Marlena, which apparently made her sound Christian, a barrier which AAP did not know how else to overcome.

NEW DELHI

Meenakshi Lekhi

BJP

Age: 51

Education: BSc (Botany), LLB

During her tenure, whether she has worked or not, the sitting MP has been instrumental in changing names of three roads:  Aurangzeb Road to APJ Abdul Kalam Road, Dalhousie Road to Dara Shikoh Road and then Race Course Road to Lok Kalyan Marg.

Strength: The Modi factor

Weakness: People are upset with the MP for not being seen in the constituency

Her words: In five years, the maximum fund for area development work is ₹25 crore, but I spent ₹32 crore on my constituency. This includes the more than ₹7 crore of unspent funds left by former New Delhi MP Ajay Maken.

AJAY MAKEN

Congress

Age: 45

Education: BSc (Chemistry Honours)

An important constituency, and even more for the Congress candidate to win. He was defeated from his post by BJPs Meenakshi Lekhi in the last Lok Sabha polls by over 2.7 lakh votes, and they shall meet again.

Strength: Three-time MLA, two-time MP. New Delhi may have anti-incumbency

sentiments down to the sealing drive.

Weakness: The seat has in the past been a stronghold of the BJP. Lost in 2014

Criminal case: One case where cognisance was taken includes the IPC section 341, related to wrongful restraint

His words: Poverty and sealing are important issues in Delhi. People want the Congress.

Brijesh Goyal

AAP

Age: 35

Education: BSc

A party loyalist, Goyal is the national convenor of the AAP and head of the trade wing. The party hopes that the “traders’ leader” connection will help him garner votes in a constituency which has been plagued by sealing.

One of the founding members of AAP, given the prestigious New Delhi constituency must mean the party has faith in his ability to consolidate the votes.

Strength: Link with traders

Weakness: Comparatively lower

popularity.

His words: I have been doing yoga for around 17 years now. I feel this is a great idea to connect with people ahead of the elections.

NORTH WEST Delhi

Hans Raj Hans

BJPAge: 57

Education: Prep from DAV college, Guru Nanak Dev University Jalandhar.

A celebrity from the world of music, the BJP chose him to run in the seat reserved for SC, overriding the incumbent MP Udit Raj, a Dalit leader.

A miffed Raj has now joined the Congress which may mean a shift in the vote bank from the incumbent MP to the lap of the Congress Party.

Strength: Popular Punjabi folk and Sufi singer

Weakness: He has switched sides often. His debut in politics happened in 2009 with the Akali Dal. In 2014, he joined the Congress and then two years later, switched to the BJP.

His words: Politics is a dirty game and I was not meant for it

Rajesh Lilothia

Congress

Age: 49

Education: BA (Hons) English, Diploma in Export Management, Advance Language course (Russian)

The two-time MLA was recently made working president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee. Being a voter from Patel Nagar, which falls under the New Delhi constituency, the Opposition calls him an outsider.

Strength: Experience

Weakness: Apparent outsider

Criminal case: One case where charges were framed, which includes IPC section 141 related to unlawful assembly

His words: There are no government engineering and medical colleges in the region. My priority will be to address these issues and raise people’s voice in Parliament.

Gugan Singh Ranga

AAP

Age: 71

Education: 8TH grade

The former BJP MLA joining the AAP in 2017 was seen as a major loss for the incumbent government, with Singh being a popular Dalit leader. He is however seen as a polarising figure.

Strength: Stronghold in rural areas.

Weakness: As a BJP man, led procession against Muharram. He is also a much older leader compared to his competitors at a time when parties are considering making things youth oriented. Not as popular.

His words: They (Muslims) use this occasion as show of strength. They wield sword and play with fire and raise slogans, which disturb us. They do not have any right to disturb us. We wont tolerate it in our locality.