Congress gambles on once rival candidates

Congress-PartyNEW DELHI: Battered Congress, which was reduced to eight seats in the last Assembly elections in the national capital, has decided to field seven candidates who had contested against the party in the past elections.

In fact, some of these had been instrumental in defeating Congress candidates in the previous polls.

There is resentment in a section of the Congress workers who feel that the party should have given tickets to only those who had stood by it in the trying times.

“By giving tickets to those who had been contesting against our own candidates in the past is bound to demoralise our field workers,” a local Congress leader told this newspaper.

Of the total candidates that the Congress is likely to field in the 70-member Assembly, six are Muslims, five women, five Sikhs, one Uttrakhandi and one Poorvanchali.

Many in the Congress feel that the party has dropped a few local leaders who had been very active at the grassroots-level.

For instance, in Karawal Nagar, the Congress is all set to field Satan Pal Dayma, who had contested as an Independent in the last Assembly elections. Mr Dayma had secured 19,362 votes against Beg Raj Singh of the Congress, who had polled 20,950 votes.

The seat was eventually won by BJP’s Mohan Singh Bisht by a margin of about 3,000 votes against AAP’s Kapil Mishra.

In the 2008 Assembly elections, Congress candidate Haji Dilshad Ali was instrumental in defeating the party candidate Anil Kumar Vashisht in the Babarpur constituency.

Ali, who had contested on a BSP ticket, had secured 28,128 votes against his Congress rival, who polled just 21,632 votes.

The seat was won by BJP’s Naresh Gaur by a margin of about 4,000 votes. The Congress is said to have chosen Ali over Zahir Khan, who lost the seat to the BJP by a margin of about 4,500 votes in the last Assembly elections.

In the Palam constituency, the Congress will field Madan Mohan, who had contested twice against the party candidates in the last two Assembly elections.

Mohan, who had contested on a BSP ticket, had secured 24,862 votes against Congress candidate Vinay Mishra, who polled 19,531 votes, in the last Assembly.

He got 21,014 votes against Congress candidate Mahender Yadav, who polled 28,119 votes in 2008 elections. In both the elections, the seat was won by BJP’s Dharam Dev Solanki.

Outgoing Independent candidate Rambir Shokeen’s wife, Rita, who is a municipal councillor, will be the Congress candidate from Mundka.

Shokeen had secured 52,564 votes against BJP’s Azad Singh, who got 45,430 votes. AAP candidate Krishan Kumar stood third by securing 23,872 votes.

Five-time MLA Shoaib Iqbal, who has been defeating Congress candidates since 1993, has been given the party ticket from Matia Mahal. Iqbal had won the seat against Congress candidate Mirza Javed Ali by a margin of about 2,500 votes in the last Assembly polls.

In Krishna Nagar, the Congress has fielded independent municipal councillor Bansi Lal. The party has chosen Lal over Dr Vinod Kumar Monga, who had bagged 26,072 votes against BJP’s Dr Harsh Vardhan, who won the seat by polling 69,222 votes.

Again in Mehrauli, the Congress has fielded Satbir Singh, who had contested against the party as an Independent candidate in 2008 state elections.  – From The Asian Age

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