NEW DELHI :
Three weeks ahead of assembly elections in the national capital, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday released the names of candidates for all 70 assembly constituencies. While the party retained 46 members of the legislative assembly (MLAs), the list has 24 new names, including three leaders who had contested the recent Lok Sabha elections from Delhi. The names were approved by the political affairs committee on Tuesday. The notification for the election was also issued by the poll body on Tuesday.
Delhi chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal is contesting from his constituency, New Delhi, the seat he won in 2013 by defeating then chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia will also continue to contest from Patparganj. The party has also retained all the cabinet ministers.
“The AAP political affairs committee has approved the names of candidates for all the 70 seats for the Delhi assembly elections. The existing MLAs will contest elections on 46 seats; in place of 15 existing MLAs and nine vacant seats (there will be) new faces. There are eight women candidates. In 2015, there were six," Sisodia said.
Raghav Chadha, Atishi and Dilip Pandey who had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha polls will contest from Rajinder Nagar, Kalkaji and Timarpur, respectively. The list also includes former Congress MLA Ram Singh Netaji who joined the party on Monday and will contest from Badarpur constituency.
Among the other members, the party has dropped sitting member Adarsh Shastri and nominated Vinay Kumar Mishra from Dwarka constituency. Shastri is the grandson of Lal Bahadur Shastri. Mishra, son of a former Congress member of Parliament (MP), joined the party on Monday.
The party had conducted a constituency-wise survey to measure the performance and popularity of legislators. Based on the survey, the party decided to drop some members.
“Best wishes to all. Don’t be complacent. Work very hard. People have lot of faith in AAP and you. God bless," Kejriwal said after the announcement.
AAP is the first party to release the names of candidates for Delhi. The last date for filing nominations is 21 January.
Elections are set for 8 February while results will be declared on 11 February. The state is seeing a three-cornered contest between AAP, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. AAP came to power in 2015 after winning a brute majority of 67 out of 70 seats.