3-Way Contest Unfolds in Delhi

Delhi is set for a triangular contest, as months of talks between the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party to jointly take on the BJP appear to have come to a naught.

While the AAP had declared its candidates from six seats last month leaving aside the West Delhi constituency, the Congress named six candidates, signalling that the possibility of an alliance is off the table. All the seven Lok Sabha seats in the capital are held by the BJP.

Three-time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit is among the candidates. The party has left out South Delhi, where its plan to nominate Ramesh Kumar, the brother of 1984 anti-Sikh riots convict Sajjan Kumar, has triggered anger among Sikh groups. According to sources, the party was also looking at fielding wrestler Sushil Kumar, but he declined.

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal is not on the list. Sources in the party said he had decided against contesting from his traditional Chandni Chowk seat as he was reluctant to fight in a triangular contest with the BJP and AAP.

Dikshit, who took over as the chief of the Delhi Congress earlier this year, will contest from North East Delhi, vying for the constituency dominated by Purvanchali voters with BJP’s Manoj Tiwari and AAP’s Dilip Pandey. Her predecessor, Ajay Maken, will contest from New Delhi.

The other Congress names are Arvinder Singh Lovely (East Delhi), JP Agarwal (Chandni Chowk), Rajesh Lilothia (North West Delhi) and Mahabal Mishra (West Delhi).

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