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Election

BJP’s Bagga, AAP’s Dhillon fight over this old BJP bastion

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Jagdeep Singh had won the seat twice in a row — both in 2013 and 2015. But before the AAP came into being, from 1993 to 1998, the seat has been a BJP bastion.

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Jagdeep Singh

New Delhi, Jan 21 : One of the closely fought seats this poll season in Delhi will be Hari Nagar in West Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. Both AAP and the BJP have gone for fresh faces. While the BJP has fielded its rabble-rouser Tajinder Bagga, AAP has replaced its two time MLA Jagdeep Singh with Raj Kumari Dhillon.

There are a total of 1,74,463 voters this time from this constituency with 92,731 male and 81,726 female voters. Last time, BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal fought from this seat and lost by more than 15,000 votes to the AAP candidate.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Jagdeep Singh had won the seat twice in a row — both in 2013 and 2015. But before the AAP came into being, from 1993 to 1998, the seat has been a BJP bastion.

This time around, Bagga, who is also the Delhi BJP spokesperson, has been fielded from this Sikh majority constituency. Dhillon was brought in to counter any anti incumbency by AAP.

Soon after Bagga’s name was announced on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, he released a poster that says “Neta nahi, Beta (I am a son, not a leader)”, which appears to be his campaign slogan. However, Dhillon is riding on the Arvind Kejriwal wind and the party’s slogan of “Acche bitey 5 saal (Last 5 years were well spent)”.

Mayapuri, Nanakpura, Paraag Vihar are key areas that encircle the Hari Nagar constituency. Scarcity of clean water and parking space remain top electoral issues even in 2020. Residents often complain of illegal parking. As candidates, both have to convince the electorates here that they have a formidable road plan to address their concerns.

With CAA protests rocking Delhi, it is expected to come up in the discourse during campaign. BJP hopes to capitalise on that, given Sikhs, who form a significant part of the constituency, will be benefiting from the legislation as well.

The Citizenship Amendment Act makes it easier for the non-Muslim immigrants facing religious persecution in Muslim-majority nations — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan — to become Indian citizen and reduces the stipulated years one needs to spend in India for applying for citizenship.

Delhi will poll on February 8 and the results will come on February 11.

Election

Manoj Tiwari offers to quit as Delhi BJP chief

Manoj Tiwari, who was a key campaigner for the BJP in the run-up to Delhi elections, conceded defeat on Tuesday and said the party will evaluate reasons behind the loss.

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Manoj Tiwari

New Delhi, Feb 12: BJP’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari offered to resign from his post on Wednesday, just a day after the BJP faced a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi Assembly polls. The party, however, has refused to accept his resignation.

While it may be a reprieve for Tiwari, whose removal was being talked about ever since Tuesday’s election debacle, the BJP leadership is believed to be not in favour of a change of guard at the moment.

Informed sources told IANS that while refusing to accept Tiwari’s resignation, which was addressed to BJP President J.P. Nadda, the party leadership is said to have told Tiwari that a change of guard in Delhi will take place as and when “structural changes” are made in BJP’s Delhi unit.

The Delhi BJP unit has often been a problematic one because of the internal strife. While Vijay Goel has one set of followers, Tiwari has another set and so does Harsh Vardhan.

There have been demands within the party to remove Tiwari from the top post in Delhi for more than a year now. But then BJP President Amit Shah refused to entertain such demands with Delhi elections in mind, where Purvanchalis constitute a sizeable number. Tiwari often flaunts his Purvanchali origin as his political USP.

But after BJP managed to win just eight seats as against AAP’s 62 on Tuesday, the saffron party may seriously think of a complete rejig of the Delhi unit.

In fact, BJP President Nadda has convened a meeting on Wednesday evening to review Delhi poll results and to fix accountability.

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Election

Chacko quits as Delhi Congress in-charge after poll debacle

This is not the first time that Chacko has offered his resignation from the Delhi in-charge post. Last year also he had put in his papers, but was asked to stay on till the elections.

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PC Chacko

New Delhi, Feb 12 : Congress Delhi in-charge P. C. Chacko tendered his resignation from his post on Wednesday to party interim President Sonia Gandhi. The resignation comes a day after the party’s dismal performance in the Delhi Assembly polls in which it scored a zero.

This is the second resignation in the party following its complete rout in the Assembly poll.

On Tuesday evening, party State chief Subhash Chopra quit after owning the defeat. He said that he could not do much for the party, and hence was leaving the post.

This is not the first time that Chacko has offered his resignation from the Delhi in-charge post. Last year also he had put in his papers, but was asked to stay on till the elections.

After Tuesday’s poor showing, the rift within the party is now out in the open with the first salvo coming from Sharmistha Mukherji on Twitter, who said “we should shut shop” while attacking former union minister P. Chidambaram after he expressed happiness about the BJP’s dismal show in the Delhi Assembly elections.

The Congress, which ruled the state for 15 years, could not perform well in the elections, and the local leaders were quick to put the blame on the central leaders.

Congress leaders from former chief minister late Sheila Dikshit’s camp attacked Chacko over leaking a letter written by her son Sandeep Dikshit, a two-time MP, in which he had alleged that “Chacko was responsible for the death of the former Chief Minister, who was under immense pressure from the Delhi in-charge”.

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Digvijay Singh raises EVM issue

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Digvijay Singh

New Delhi, Feb 11 Congress leader Digvijay Singh has raised the EVM issue as vote counting began in Delhi. Early trends showed AAP leading, BJP in second spot with Congress a distant third.

The former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh said that EVMs are not tamper-proof and no developed country uses them.

Singh tweeted: “No Machine which has a Chip is Tamper-Proof. Also please do for a moment think, why no Developed Country uses EVM?

He has urged the Supreme Court and the Election Commission to look into the issue of EVM.

“Would CEC and Honourable Supreme Court please have a fresh look on EVM voting in India? We are the largest Democracy in the World, we can’t allow some Unscrupulous People to Hack Results and steal the Mandate of 1.3 Billion People.”

Digvijay Singh has emphasised that postal ballots should also be counted “If they match the Votes in the Counting Unit. Declare the result. If they don’t match then count the Ballots of all Polling Booths in the Assembly. It would convince every one and save time also as this has been the consistent argument of CEC in favour of EVM”.

The Congress which ruled the state for 15 years under Shiela Dikshit has been struggling to open an account in Delhi.

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