Sheila denies rift in Congress over tickets

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New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) Dismissing reports of large scale discontentment among partymen, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today asserted there was no rift within the state Congress over ticket distribution for the November 29 Assembly elections.

''We tried giving as wide a representation as possible in the ticket distribution. Winnability was the main criteria for their allotment. We have given opportunities to youth, women and various sections of Delhi's multi-cultural society,'' she said in an interview with UNI.

Asked why the party did not go for 33 per cent reservation for women in the ticket allocation, she said, ''Last time, the party had given the ticket to 11 women and this time, we hope to field at least eight to ten or more, if possible.'' ''Candidates for 22 seats are yet to be announced and we hope to give more representation to youth and women,'' she underlined.

''I am a woman, our party chief is a woman...we would obviously like to encourage women to come forward,'' she quipped.

On the reported disgruntlement in sections of the party, the Chief Minister observed, ''Resentment among those who do not get ticket is natural. For 70 seats in the Assembly, there are 7,000 applicants and a ticket can only be given to one candidate. That means 6,900 others are going to protest. Winnability is our main criteria.'' There had been reports of differences between DPCC president J P Agarwal and the Chief Minister over selection of candidates.

In the first list of 48 candidates, released by the party on November 5, Ms Kiran Walia, whose Hauz Khas constituency faced the delimitation axe, was selected for the Malviya Nagar seat, ignoring state Health Minister Yoganand Shastri, who is also sitting MLA from the area.

Party sources also said the initial list of 53 finalised by the party for the state Assembly polls last week did not contain the name of Mr S C Vats, who had been the PAC chairperson on power privatisation in Delhi. However, his name did feature in the first list of 48 candidates released on Wednesday.


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