New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) list of candidates in all 70 seats for the Delhi Assembly polls have surely been a bummer for some of its key contestants in the last elections. However, the Kejriwal-led party has fielded fresh faces from at least seven constituencies as the capital city goes to polls on February 8.
These candidates have been tallied in the list that released last evening from seats including Dwarka, Matia Mahal, Chandni Chowk, Karawal Nagar, Bijwasan, Rajouri Garden, and Gandhi Nagar. Notably, this time the list of candidates has eight names of women contestants, as opposed to last elections’ six.
The list of candidates also included Atishi Marlena, Dilip Pandey and Raghav Chadha, who unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, along with five others who recently defected from the Congress. Meanwhile, the party has dropped 15 of its sitting MLAs after they were not found up to the mark.
From the Dwarka constituency, the AAP has fielded senior Congress leader Mahabal Mishra’s son Vinay Kumar Mishra, replacing Adarsh Shastri, grandson of Lal Bahadur Shastri, who had left his high profile job at Apple Inc. to join the politics with AAP. Vinay Mishra recently jumped ship from Congress to join the ruling party
From Matia Mahal, AAP dropped sitting candidate Aseem Ahmed Khan to accommodate Congress defaulter and five-time MLA Shoaib Iqbal. Iqbal, who has a stronghold in the constituency, was chosen as the party had been looking for a prominent Muslim face to woo the minority voters in the national capital.
The Karawal Nagar seat will be fought by Durgesh Pathak, one of the party’s key players in the 2015 assembly elections where AAP achieved a landslide victory. Pathak is replacing MLA Kapil Mishra who was disqualified in January last year after he shared the dais with BJP leaders at their campaign event.
From the crucial Chandni Chowk seat, Congress turncoat Prahlad Singh Sawhney is replacing MLA Alka Lamba, who was disqualified from the state Assembly by Speaker Ram Niwas Goel “on grounds of defection” after she allegedly joined the Congress.
AAP’s Anil Bajpai, who contested from Gandhi Nagar in the previous polls, switched to the BJP last year after he was sacked for rebelling against the party. As a result, the Kejriwal-led party has fielded Naveen (Deepu) Choudhary to fight polls on AAP ticket in 2020.
The AAP has filed advocate BS Joon from Bijwasan seat, replacing MLA Devendra Sherawat who was suspended for raising rebellion against the sacking of fellow founding members Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.
At the same time, the Kejriwal party has given the AAP ticket to Dayanand Chandila’s wife Dhanwanti Chandila to fight polls from Rajouri Garden seat. The seat went to BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate Manjinder Singh Sirsa in 2017 by-polls which was necessitated after AAP’s sitting MLA Jarnail Singh quit constituency to file candidature in Punjab.