Delhi Congress, BJP bigwigs file nominations; Kejriwal postpones filing of papers
New Delhi, Jan 20: Delhi Congress bigwigs Haroon Yusuf and Arvinder Singh Lovely as well as senior BJP leader Vijender Gupta were among the 343 candidates who filed their nominations on Monday, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was unable to submit his papers due to a delay caused by his rally.
Kejriwal, who started his roadshow from Valmiki Mandir near R K Ashram Marg metro station to the Hanuman Mandir near Connaught Place, traversed around 2.2 kilometres in over two hours.
The 'Walk With Kejriwal' roadshow was to be followed by the Delhi chief minister going to Jamnagar House to file his nomination papers, but owing to the delay in the rally, he was unable to reach the SDM office in time.
Kejriwal said the nomination will now be filed on Tuesday, which is also the last day for filing of nomination for the February 8 polls in Delhi.
Before joining the mega roadshow, Kejriwal sought the blessings of his parents at his residence. His entire family, including his wife, two children and parents reached the Valmiki
Mandir at noon from where the AAP leader commenced his roadshow, ahead of filing his nomination from the New Delhi constituency.
He was also accompanied by his close confidant and deputy in the Delhi government Manish Sisodia and party MP Sanjay Singh.
A total of whopping 508 fresh nominations were filed on Monday by 343 candidates belonging to big and smaller parties. With this, the total number of nominations for the upcoming elections has gone up to 722 received from 496 candidates, a senior official of the Delhi CEO office said.
The total number of male candidates stand at 395, much larger than 101 woman contestants, he said.
Tuesday is expected to witness last minute rush by the Congress and the BJP who were yet to announce candidates on a few seats until Monday night.
The two parties until late Monday evening had not announced their candidates for the remaining seats. More than 40 BJP candidates, including its Leader of Opposition in the outgoing Delhi Assembly Gupta, filed their nomination papers.
Many other BJP candidates, including Ravi Negi (Patparganj), Kiran Vaidya (Trilokpuri), and Rajkumar Dhillon (Kondli), also filed their nominations. They were accompanied by East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir.
"BJP candidates have worked very hard on the ground in the past five years and I am sure that they will do very well," Gambhir said on the occasion.
Sitting Vishwas Nagar MLA OP Sharma also filed his nomination papers to seek re-election from the same seat, at Nand Nagri SDM office. He was accompanied by Sonali Jaitley, daughter of late Arun Jaitley.
Another sitting MLA Jagdish Pradhan also filed his nomination papers from the Mustafabad constituency. Yusuf, Lovely, who were ministers in the then Sheila Dikshit government, filed their nomination papers from Ballimaran and Gandhi Nagar, respectively.
Alka Lamba and Poonam Azad were also among those who filed their nomination papers from Chandni Chowk and Sangam Vihar, respectively. Former Delhi Assembly speaker Yoganand Shastri's daughter Priyanka is in the fray from R K Puram.
The Congress is contesting the February 8 polls in alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which has been allotted four seats. This is the first time that the Congress is contesting the Delhi elections in partnership with another party.
The last date for submission of nomination papers is January 21 and scrutiny will take place the next day. The last date of withdrawal of candidature is January 24.
Results will be declared on February 11. According to the final electoral roll, over 1.46 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise in the upcoming polls.