With the MCD elections just around the corner, the Delhi BJP hinted on Friday that it would not repeat its outgoing councilors in at least 60-70 percent of wards, even though the Congress received more than 1,000 applications from card seekers.
The top three candidates – the BJP, the AAP and the Congress – have started working on their strategies and candidate selection for the 250 ward polls of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the dates of which are likely to be announced soon. .
The Delhi Congress has already received more than 1,000 applications from probable candidates seeking party tickets to the polls. According to party leader Anil Kumar, the party will streamline the candidate selection process in successive meetings on Saturday and Sunday. Several Delhi BJP leaders said reports that the party will replace all of its incumbent councilors with new faces were technically incorrect.
“With various factors such as reduced number of wards, rotation of reserved seats for women and SC candidates and demarcation, nearly 60-70 percent sitting councilors will effectively lose the claim to party card,” said a senior BJP leader from Delhi. No more than 30 percent of incumbent councilors will be given the chance to be rerun this time, even if the party so decides, he said.
“There were several reasons that made it necessary to change faces in most neighborhoods. Before the unification of the three municipal corporations earlier this year, the total number of wards was 272, which has now fallen to 250 under the MCD,” said a senior Delhi BJP leader.
Of the 250 wards, many are previously reserved for women and Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates. “Due to the rotation of departments, many of these departments that were previously reserved for women or SC have now become common. Conversely, many general wards have become reserved,” he added.
Demarcation has also impacted ward voter composition, requiring candidate change for upcoming polls, he said.
The BJP leaders said two surveys – one by the central leadership and the other by the Delhi BJP – are being conducted for effective selection of candidates for the MCD polls.
“The investigations are likely to be completed by the third week of November. These are being conducted to test the recoverability potential of ticket aspirants,” she said.
The achievements of ticket seekers such as the work done during the COVID-19 pandemic and the active role played to help people take advantage of the Modi government schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana will be prioritized in the selection of candidates, party leaders said.
Delhi Congress president Kumar said his party is ready for the MCD polls and there is enthusiasm among workers to fight the party symbol.
“The Delhi Congress has already received more than 1,000 applications (from ticket seekers). However, after the poll dates are announced, the party leaders and workers who were unable to apply for tickets to the MCD polls will have another chance,” he said.
The applications were received until October 31, when the process was halted. However, there were some eligible ticket candidates who failed to apply and are given another chance, he said.
“In addition to young leaders and workers, we will also give preference to those who have been active over the years attending party campaigns and programs such as our relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
The ruling AAP is also conducting a survey to find suitable candidates with winning potential, party sources said.
In 2017 citizen polls, the BJP had won 281 out of 270 wards. Due to the death of candidates, no election could be held in two seats.
The AAP had won 48 divisions, while Congress won 27 divisions.
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