NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal has geared up for the assembly election in Delhi on February 8 by announcing candidates for all 70 seats.
This leaves no room for any electoral tie-up or adjustments with Congress or any other non-BJP parties. Political analysts expected the AAP and Congress to join hands to stop the Modi-Shah juggernaut particularly in the wake of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The grand old party was willing to explore the opportunities for some kind of understanding with AAP, but the latter seemed to be confident to retain power on its own. Several pre-poll surveys predicting a sweep for Kejriwal has boosted its confidence.
The ABP-CVoter opinion poll conducted in the first week of January has predicted 59 seats for the AAP, eight seats for the BJP and three for the Congress. The grand old party has been doubtful about the stand of the AAP on crucial issues like abrogation of Article 370 and the CAA.
While the AAP had backed the legislation on revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in the parliament, the Congress felt the party’s response to the CAA was inadequate. These are the two key issues that Congress bank on to regain power in the state.
Chief Minister Aravind Kejriwal was all confidence after the list of candidates was released. "Best wishes to all. Don't be complacent. Work v hard. People have lot of faith in AAP and u. God bless," he tweeted after the list was released on Tuesday evening.
The document released by the party's political affairs committee named Manish Sisodia as the candidate from Patparganj, Satyendra Jain from Shakur Basti, Jitendra Tomar from Tri Nagar, Jarnail Singh from Tilak Nagar, Atishi from Kalkaji and SK Bagga from Krishna Nagar constituencies. While 15 of these turned out to be sitting MLAs, six fresh names were announced.
Kejriwal will contest from the New Delhi constituency. As many as 46 sitting MLAs have been given tickets, 15 sitting MLAs have been replaced. While six women were given tickets by AAP last time, we have now given tickets to eight," news agency ANI quoted Manish Sisodia, who also serves as the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, as saying.
Although the Congress has finalised 14 candidates for the assembly elections, sources in the party said the names will be announced only after AAP and BJP have made their respective declarations. The BJP is expected to come out with its list later this week, according to an NDTV report.
AAP had made a clean sweep of the 2015 assembly elections, bagging 67 seats to leave the BJP with just three. The Congress, which had ruled the national capital from 1998 to 2013, drew a blank.
Image Credit: Hindustan Times