AAP Declares Candidate List for Delhi Elections: 4 Key Takeaways

AAP has declared its list of 70 candidates – six Congress defectors & three Lok Sabha candidates have been fielded.

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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has taken a headstart in the Delhi Assembly elections by declaring its entire list of 70 candidates on Tuesday, 14 January. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be contesting from the New Delhi seat, where he defeated three-time Congress CM Sheila Dikshit in 2013, completely changing Delhi’s politics.

Besides this, six Congress defectors and three Lok Sabha candidates from AAP have been given tickets. In terms of representation, there are eight women, five Muslims and three Sikhs in the AAP list.

Here are key takeaways from AAP’s list of candidates:


Majority of Sitting MLAs & Key Leaders Renominated

AAP seems to be quite confident of bucking any possible anti-incumbency as it has renominated 70-80 percent of its sitting MLAs. Besides Kejriwal from New Delhi, all his Cabinet colleagues have been given tickets from their seats:

  • Manish Sisodia - Patparganj
  • Gopal Rai - Babarpur
  • Satyendra Jain - Shakur Basti
  • Rajendra Pal Gautam - Seemapuri
  • Imran Hussain - Ballimaran
  • Kailash Gahlot - Najafgarh

Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel will be contesting from Shahdara. Political Affairs committee member and AAP’s most prominent Muslim face, Amanatullah Khan, has been renominated from Okhla.

Another prominent leader, Rakhi Bidlan, will be contesting once again from her seat Mangolpuri.

National Faces Deployed in State Battle

Another important aspect of AAP’s list is that many of its prominent national faces will now be contesting the state polls.

The party’s former in charge for Punjab Durgesh Pathak will fight from Karawal Nagar, where he is likely to take on sitting MLA Kapil Mishra, who defected from AAP to BJP and became a vocal Kejriwal critic.

Three prominent national leaders of AAP who lost in the Lok Sabha elections, have also been fielded:

  • Atishi - Kalkaji
  • Raghav Chadha - Rajinder Nagar
  • Dilip Pandey - Timarpur

This is a departure from AAP’s earlier policy, of separating candidates at both the levels.

Congress Defectors Find Place

Six leaders with strong local bases who recently defected from Congress to AAP have been given tickets:

  • Five-time MLA Shoaib Iqbal - Matia Mahal
  • Four-time MLA Prahlad Singh Sahni - Chandni Chowk
  • Ram Singh Netaji - Badarpur
  • Rajkumari Dhillon - Hari Nagar
  • Dhanwanti Chandela - Rajouri Garden
  • Vinay Kumar Mishra (son of senior Congress leader Mahabal Mishra) - Dwarka

A Few MLAs Dropped

Around 15 sitting MLAs have been dropped. Many of them had to make way for recent entrants from the Congress as well as the central leaders who had to be accommodated.

Some of the key MLAs dropped are Lal Bahadur Shastri’s grandson Adarsh Shastri from Dwarka, who was dropped in favour of Vinay Mishra; Vijender Garg has been replaced by Raghav Chadha in Rajinder Nagar; and Avtar Singh has been replaced by Atishi in Kalkaji.

One surprising exclusion is Jagdeep Singh, a rather popular MLA from Hari Nagar, who has been replaced by Congress defector Rajkumari Dhillon.

Haji Ishraque, who faced flak for not coming out actively in support of Citizenship Amendment Act protesters, has been replaced by councillor Abdur Rehman who is known to be popular locally.

Trilokpuri MLA Raju Dhingan has also been dropped.

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