The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced the names of its candidates for East Delhi and New Delhi Lok Sabha constituencies. The party has named cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir BJP candidate for East Delhi, and re-nominated MP Meenakshi Lekhi from the New Delhi seat.
Lekhi will take on Ajay Maken of the Congress and Brajesh Goel of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Gambhir replaces sitting MP Maheish Girri, and will face Congress candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely and Atishi of the AAP.
Gambhir, who has played 58 Tests and 147 one-day internationals and was part of the Indian teams that won the World T20 in 2007 and the ODI World Cup in 2011, joined the BJP on March 22 this year. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he had campaigned for Arun Jaitley in Amritsar, but the BJP lost in that constituency.
Earlier, the BJP had on Sunday renominated four of its seven MPs from Delhi.
Harsh Vardhan has been renominated from Chandni Chowk, while sitting MP and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari will contest from North East Delhi. Parvesh Verma, son of former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma, has been chosen for West Delhi while Ramesh Bidhuri will contest from South Delhi.
The BJP is yet to name its North West Delhi candidate. Sitting MP Udit Raj is said to be unhappy for not being named yet.
Anticipating that he may not get the ticket, Raj asked the BJP on Monday to clear the confusion over his candidature.
He told reporters that he had talked to several senior leaders about his candidature but was asked to wait. The MP said he tried to speak to BJP chief Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi but could not do so.
“I am the best performer of the party among its Delhi MPs. Also, I am the only Dalit leader of the BJP who is known across the country. I don’t know why I am being treated like this,” he said.
Raj said he would wait till an official announcement on the BJP candidate for the North-West Delhi (reserved) seat, before deciding his future course of action.