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Election

Denied ticket, AAP MLAs start quitting party

According to sources, AAP MLA from Delhi Cantonment Surinder Singh is also planning to switch.

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Jagdeep Singh

New Delhi, Jan 18 : Days after the Aam Aadmi Party announced the list of its candidates for the February 8 Delhi Assembly elections and dropped 15 sitting MLAs, legislators have started quitting the party with Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri and Hari Nagar MLA Jagdeep Singh the latest in the list.

While Shastri, the grandson of late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who won the seat with 59.08 per cent votes in 2015, quit the AAP and joined the Congress on Saturday, Singh also announced that he has resigned from the party.

However, Singh has not revealed his next move.

Speaking to IANS, Singh said he will reveal the details soon.

Singh was using Kejriwal’s image as his profile picture on his official Twitter profile and changed it on Saturday.

Sitting AAP MLA from Badarpur N. D. Sharma on Tuesday had said that he has resigned from the party and accused party chief Arvind Kejriwal and senior leader Manish Sisodia of taking Rs 20 crore for giving the election ticket to a ‘land mafia’, after he was denied the ticket.

Sharma has joined the Bahujan Samaj Party and will be contesting on its ticket, he confirmed to IANS.

Ram Singh Netaji, a former Congressman and a two-time MLA from Badarpur who joined the AAP on Monday, has replaced Sharma, who got 59.3 per cent votes in 2015.

According to sources, AAP MLA from Delhi Cantonment Surinder Singh is also planning to switch.

However, the ex-serviceman has said he is still with the AAP.

“I haven’t quit the AAP yet. I am yet to take any decision,” he told IANS.

Haji Ishraq, MLA from Seelampur, who was replaced by Abdul Rehman, MCD winner from East Delhi, accused party chief Arvind Kejriwal of being “unhappy” as he asked him to support the Muslims protesting against the NRC and the CAA.

He too said he is taking his time and consulting people before taking any decision.

“I am still considering my options,” Ishraq, who won in 2015 with 51.26 per cent votes, told IANS.

After the ruling Aam Aadmi Party released the list of its candidates on Tuesday for the 70 assembly seats in Delhi and dropped 15 sitting MLAs, the legislators had said the list came to them as a “surprise” and the party did not inform them about this in advance.

The sitting MLAs denied tickets also include Pankaj Pushkar (Timarpur), Ram Chander (Bawana), Sukhbir Dalal (Mundka), Hazari Lal Chauhan (Patel Nagar), Vijender Garg (Rajendra Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Raju Dhingan (Trilokpuri), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Choudhary Fateh Singh (Gokulpur) and Asim Ahmed Khan (Matia Mahal).

Delhi is going to the polls on February 8 as the tenure of the Assembly is ending next month.

Candidates can file their nominations till January 21.

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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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Election

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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