Ahead of the much-awaited Delhi elections, sources on Thursday have reported that eight of the fifteen MLAs who have not been given a ticket have allegedly met with a top BJP leader for over three and a half hours. Moreover, sources report that BJP leaders wanted to arrange a meeting between the MLAs and BJP's central leadership. But, the leader was instructed to wait till January 17.
Furthermore, sources state that 3 or 4 of the eight MLAs may be accommodated on a BJP ticket. Other MLAs may reportedly be fielded as independent candidates in a bid to cut down AAP's vote share. On Wednesday, the Aam Aadmi Party has dropped 15 sitting MLAs from its list of 70 candidates and given tickets to a total of 24 first-timers, including Atishi, Dilip Pandey and Raghav Chadha who unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
On Tuesday, the Political Affairs Committee of the AAP approved all the 70 candidates for the upcoming Delhi assembly election. 46 sitting MLAs have been nominated by the party. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia will contest from New Delhi and Patparganj respectively. While the list mainly features mostly its own MLAs, it also features controversial MLA Amanatullah Khan, Satyendar Jain. Khan had allegedly made a provocative speech ahead of anti-CAA violence in Delhi Jamia Millia University, while Jain has been charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a disproportionate assets case.
In a significant development, Atishi Marlena who is considered to have played an integral role in the Delhi government’s school education reforms and Raghav Chadha- the national spokesperson have been given tickets. After the final list announcement, several members from the party joined the BJP on Wednesday ahead of the BJP's central election committee meet on Thursday which will finalise the party's list of candidates.
The Election Commission of India announced that Delhi would go to the polls on February 8. The results will be declared on February 11. In the previous election, AAP had won a resounding majority bagging 67 out of 70 seats as against BJP who could win only from three constituencies. So far, BJP has not named its Chief Ministerial candidate.