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Ahead of MCD polls, 2 Swaraj India candidates switch to BJP

PTI | New Delhi |

Two Swaraj India candidates contesting the upcoming MCD polls have ditched the party to join the BJP.

The party has sacked Amrita Rashmi, candidate from ward No 24S Bapriola under the South Delhi MCD, after BJP leaders were found to be campaigning for her.

"After it was brought to our notice, we immediately sacked Amrita Rashmi from the party," Swaraj India spokesperson Anupam said.

Its other candidate Twinkle Kalia is being supported by the BJP.

Known for driving an ambulance to ferry road accident victims to hospital free of cost, Kalia is contesting from Ward No 81N in Kishan Ganj under the North MCD.

"Kalia said, she wants be a joint candidate of the BJP and Swaraj India. This was unacceptable to us as we don't want to be seen in alliance with the BJP," Anupam added.

Interestingly, if the two candidates win, there is a legal lacuna that will help the two escape action under the anti-defection law.

"Although they are Swaraj India candidates, they technically remain independent as we have not been alloted a common symbol.

"Had the State Election Commission alloted us a common symbol, such a problem would not have taken place," Anupam added.

In both the seats, the BJP nominees were disqualified after scrutiny of nomination papers.

Interestingly, the BJP also expelled its candidate Savita Khatri from Narela after sacked AAP Delhi minister Sandeep Kumar was found to be campaigning for her.

Kumar was sacked from the Arvind Kejriwal government after his name cropped up in an alleged sex scandal. He was later arrested over rape charges.

Contesting its maiden polls, Swaraj India has fielded 211 candidates, of which 111 are women. Twenty-four of its candidates were disqualified during scrutiny of nomination papers.