Congress names its Delhi picks; Kanhaiya to take on Manoj Tiwari | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Congress names its Delhi picks; Kanhaiya to take on Manoj Tiwari

By, New Delhi
Apr 15, 2024 06:01 AM IST

Under an agreement with the AAP, the Congress will contest three out of the Capital's seven Lok Sabha seats. The AAP will get the remaining four seats.

The Congress on Sunday named its Lok Sabha candidates for the three Delhi seats it is contesting as part of the alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party, pitching Kanhaiya Kumar from North East Delhi, JP Agarwal from Chandni Chowk and Udit Raj from North West Delhi.

Congress leader and All India Congress Committee in charge, NSUI, Kanhaiya Kumar (File Photo)
Congress leader and All India Congress Committee in charge, NSUI, Kanhaiya Kumar (File Photo)

Kumar, who joined the Congress in September 2021 from the Communist Party of India (CPI), contested the last Lok Sabha elections from Bihar’s Begusarai, where he lost to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Giriraj Singh. This time, the party fielded Kumar from NE Delhi after it failed to get Begusarai from its INDIA allies.

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The Capital, and its candidates.
The Capital, and its candidates.

Kumar is in charge of the party’s students wing NSUI, and is pitted against the BJP’s sitting MP Manoj Tiwari in a constituency with a substantial number of voters from Bihar and UP.

“Kumar’s candidature became almost certain after Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely told the central election committee (CEC) on April 5 that he is not keen to contest in the Lok Sabha polls. While former MP Sandeep Dikshit was another contender, Kumar enjoyed the backing of at least two key leaders including communications chief Jairam Ramesh,” said a senior Congress leader, requesting anonymity.

For the Chandni Chowk seat, the party named former parliamentarian Agarwal, who will take on BJP’s Praveen Khandelwal. In the third constituency in its share, the party named Raj, who was once with the BJP, as the North West Delhi candidate, where the BJP has pitched Yogendra Chandolia.

A former Indian Revenue Service officer-turned-politician, Raj was elected from North West Delhi on a BJP ticket in 2014. He joined the Congress in 2019 and is one of the most vocal leaders of the party in the Capital.

For Chandni Chowk, the Congress considered two candidates — Agarwal and the women’s wing head Alka Lamba. “While Lamba had been a former Delhi MLA, the party preferred Agarwal for his clout in Chandni Chowk and also to accommodate the former MP,” said a second leader.

Agarwal represented Chandni Chowk in the Lok Sabha previously and was an MP from North East Delhi between 2009 and 2014. He is also a former Rajya Sabha MP from Delhi.

At the CEC meeting, no consensus could be reached, and the poll panel authorised Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to decide the contestants.

The party also declared its first list of six candidates from Punjab and the candidate for the Allahabad seat in UP.

The Congress has fielded former Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi from Jalandhar, incumbent MPs Gurjeet Singh Aujla from Amritsar and Amar Singh from Fatehgarh Sahib, and former four-term Akali Dal MLA Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu from Bhatinda. Punjab MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira was named as the candidate from Sangrur and former AAP MP Dharamvir Gandhi from Patiala after incumbent MP Preneet Kaur, who is married to former Congress leader Captain Amrinder Singh, quit the Congress.

In Uttar Pradesh, the Congress decided to field Ujjwal Rewati Raman Singh, son of Samajwadi Party veteran Rewati Raman Singh, from Allahabad (Prayagraj). This leaves only two seats — Amethi and Raeb Bareli — in UP from where Congress candidates have not yet been named.

With Sunday’s announcement, the INDIA bloc has now named all seven of its candidates in Delhi. On February 27, the Aam Aadmi Party named Mahabal Mishra as the contender from West Delhi, Sahi Ram Pehelwan from South Delhi, Somnath Bharti from New Delhi, and Kuldeep Kumar from East Delhi.

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