NEW DELHI: Twenty-three new faces, including three who contested the last parliamentary polls in the capital and six recruits from rival parties , were among 70 candidates fielded by Aam Aadmi Party for the February 8 assembly polls in Delhi.
Former MLAs Shoaib Iqbal, Parlad Singh Sawhney, Ram Singh Netaji, Chaudhary Surender Kumar, Dhanwanti Chandela and Vinay Kumar Mishra, who joined AAP recently, have been named nominees. Iqbal, a five-time MLA representing different political parties, had joined Congress ahead of the 2015 assembly poll. This year, he is the AAP candidate from Matia Mahal, his stronghold. Sawhney, a four-time MLA from Congress, has been fielded from Chandni Chowk, which he represented from 1998 till his defeat in 2015.
Netaji, who won two assembly elections, once on a Nationalist Congress Party ticket and second as a BSP candidate, has been fielded from Badarpur. Former Congress MP Mahabal Mishra’s son Vinay and ex-Congress MLA Dayanand Chandela’s wife Dhanwanti have been fielded from Dwarka and Rajouri Garden, respectively. Surender Kumar, who won in 2008 on a BSP ticket, is the AAP nominee in Gokalpur. He had joined the BJP in 2019, but didn’t stay in that party for long. Talking to reporters, Vinay Mishra said he was impressed by the “revolutionary” work done by AAP, which prompted him to join the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. Interestingly, Mishra was a front-runner for a Congress nomination, but quit before that party announced its candidates.
AAP has also fielded its prominent faces, Atishi, Raghav Chadha and Dilip Pandey, from, respectively, Kalkaji, Rajinder Nagar and Timarpur. The trio had contested and lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The candidatures of the three known for their political acumen gives AAP a formidable line-up. Another AAP functionary who has worked closely with the top leadership, Durgesh Pathak, will fight from Karawal Nagar, represented by Kapil Mishra, who is now with BJP.
There are new AAP faces in Bijwasan and Gandhi Nagar, whose MLAs Devinder Sehrawat and Anil Kumar Bajpai had defected to BJP. B S Joon and Navin Chaudhary have been fielded from these two seats. The ruling party has also given a chance to new candidates in the Bawana, Mundka, Patel Nagar, Hari Nagar, Delhi Cantonment, Trilokpuri, Kondli, Seelampur and Sultanpur Majra constituencies.