In an important announcement on Monday, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari revealed that there would be no tie-up with its NDA allies SAD and JJP in the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls. On January 17, BJP released the first list of 57 candidates. Tiwari stated that a total of three of the remaining 13 seats would be contested by allies. While JDU will contest on 2 seats, the Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP will field its candidate from one constituency.
In the 2015 Assembly election, SAD and BJP had an electoral pact whereby the SAD’s two candidates fought on the BJP symbol while two others fought on the SAD symbol. JJP was exploring the possibility of gaining an alliance as it helped BJP form the government in Haryana. Meanwhile, Tiwari also announced that the names for the remaining 10 seats would be declared soon.
Manoj Tiwari,Delhi BJP Chief: We have decided to give three seats to our allies. JDU will contest on two seats and LJP on 1 seat. Rest of the ten seats which remain, BJP will announce candidates for them soon #DelhiElections2020 pic.twitter.com/ePfUvnHbY2— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2020
AAP rebel Kapil Mishra has been given the BJP ticket to contest from the Model Town constituency. Also, party spokesperson Sardar RP Singh will contest the polls from the Rajendra Nagar seat. Moreover, all three MLAs who had won in the 2015 elections including senior leader Vijendra Gupta have been re-nominated by the party.
Contrary to speculation, none of the sitting parliamentarians featured in BJP’s first list. However, the BJP hasn’t put up a candidate in either Krishna Nagar or New Delhi from where Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is fighting the election. This opens up the possibility of senior BJP leaders such as Harsh Vardhan and Manoj Tiwari joining the poll fray. Meanwhile, newcomer Ravi Negi has been pitted by the BJP against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
BJP's alliance with JDU in Delhi comes at a juncture when there has been friction between the two allies in Bihar on key issues such as the National Register of Citizens. This was exacerbated by JDU vice president Prashant Kishor's demand for the JDU to get a lion's share of the seats in the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections. However, BJP sought to put all speculations to rest when Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared that the Assembly polls would be fought under the leadership of Nitish Kumar.