New Delhi, March 22: After sweeping the assembly elections in Punjab, the Congress has decided to rope in Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in the MCD elections in Delhi. The party leaders on Tuesday hinted that Amarinder Singh may address four rallies ahead of civic polls. However, the venues and dates have still not been finalised. He will be addressing a rally in the Rajouri Garden where the party has decided to field Meenakshi Chandela to contest the by-poll scheduled to take place on April 9. She is a sitting councillor from Khayala ward. The seat fell vacant after the Aam Aadmi Party legislator Jarnail Singh resigned from the seat to take on the former chief minister of Punjab Prakash Singh Badal.
Congress had earlier planned the rally on March 25 or March 26 but the programme was called off after Amarinder Singh expressed his inability due to the inaugural session of Punjab legislative assembly. The reasons for roping in Amarinder Singh could be attributed to the fact that he successfully managed to limit the influence of Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab assembly elections.
Another reason that many political analysts are citing that Delhi has a significant chunk of Sikh voters. However, the elections have turned into the three-cornered contest. The Aam Aadmi Party has put in all efforts to ensure victory in civic polls after it routed both traditional Congress and Bharatiya Janta Party in 2015 in Delhi assembly elections. While the Bharatiya Janta Party had to console itself with 3 out of 70 assembly seats, the Congress.
According to Hindustan Times, Aman Panwar, in charge (legal affairs), Delhi Congress said, “Tomorrow, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken is meeting Captain saheb to prepare the schedule. He may address three-four rallies in Delhi during the municipal polls. The first rally is planned at Rajouri Garden in view of the by-election. The remaining meetings will be organised in the middle of next month and the venues will be decided later.”
MCD elections bear a special significance for the Congress as the grand old party is eyeing a comeback in municipal corporations after an exile of 15 years. Similarly, the civic polls are providing an opportunity to the party to bring back cadres who deserted the party after the electoral debacle of 2013. The party is buoyed by the fact that it received more than 1100 applications from the aspiring candidates after March 11.
The State Election Commission will conduct the polling for MCD elections on April 23. The results for the civic polls will be announced on April 26.