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Fresh faces? BJP gambles in Delhi by repackaging old hands

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New Delhi, Jan 17, 2020-

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday released its first list of 57 candidates for the upcoming Delhi polls, giving chance to very few newbies and mostly reviving the career of old timers who have been away from electoral politics, and projecting them as new faces to fight the elections in the national capital.

While some of them have been post holders in the party, few are given opportunity after observing their people connect.

The biggest name is former AAP minister Kapil Mishra. Though he has been part of electoral politics, he is a “new face” for the BJP nevertheless. In the last elections, Mishra had defeated BJP’s Mohan Singh Bisht from Karawal Nagar by nearly 50,000 votes on AAP ticket. He will fight it out as a BJP candidate this time from Delhi’s upscale model town.

Another “fresh face”, according to the BJP, is Karam Singh Karma. Karma was the President of Balmiki Samaj (Delhi). He has served the Akhil Bhartiya Safai Mazdoor Sangh and All India Balmiki Samaj Chetna Sangathan for a very long time. He later went on to join Aam Aadmi Party only to leave it for the BJP this year.

R.P. Singh is another “fresh face”, who is already a senior party functionary and holds the post of BJP’s National Secretary. But this time around, the BJP decided to try him electorally from the Rajinder Nagar Assembly constituency. Though he was elected in the Delhi Assembly earlier, he stayed away from electoral politics since forth.

Another such face is Sikha Rai who had contested the 2013 elections but was dropped in 2015, forcing her supporters to protest against the BJP outside its party office.

After being left out in the cold, she has been given a chance once again, this time from the Greater Kailash constituency. BJP hopes that staying away from fighting elections for seven years might have erased her old baggage and may help the party this time.

Another “fresh face”, as many within the BJP want to project him as, is Vikram Bidhuri, a close relative of BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri, who has been given ticket from Tughlakabad. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2015 Assembly polls.

All in all, the BJP mostly relied on its old horses rather than trying new faces, a risk it took during the 2017 MCD elections that paid off for the party.

Delhi will go to polls on February 8 while the results will be out on February 11. (Agency)

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