New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday released its second and final list of candidates for the high-stakes Delhi assembly polls next month, fielding young leader Sunil Yadav from New Delhi constituency against Chief Minister (CM) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal. The list was released following the announcement by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to not contest the election in alliance with the saffron party due to its protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Soon after the buzz that BJP would change its candidate against Kejriwal, the party said that Yadav, President of Delhi unit of its youth wing — Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — will continue to be their contestant against Kejriwal.
“We have decided that Sunil Yadav will remain our candidate against Delhi’s current Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. We are assured of his victory in the upcoming legislative assembly elections,” Delhi BJP in-charge Shyam Jaju told Gulf News.
Reacting to Yadav’s candidature from New Delhi seat, the ruling AAP said that the saffron party has surrendered before the polls.
“Going by this second list of candidates released by BJP and particularly the candidate against CM Kejriwal from New Delhi constituency, it seems BJP has already surrendered before the election,” AAP spokesman Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted.
Talking to Gulf News, Yadav expressed happiness at being directly pitted against AAP convener and said he was confident of his victory.
“In 2013, Arvind Kejriwal fought against the mighty three-time Chief Minister of Delhi Shiela Dikshit from New Delhi constituency and won the election. So why cant I?,” Yadav said.
Describing AAP’s report card of five-years as a “bundle of lies,” Yadav said all the development work that the AAP government boasted of was a sham.
“Where are all the beautiful ‘mohalla clinics’ (local clinics) disbursing free medicines, where are all the hospitals providing free treatment, where are all the schools providing free education? All the grand schemes that AAP talks about remain on papers. If you visit a ‘mohalla clinic,’ you will never go there again. They look clean and beautiful only in files but in reality, they look like garbage stations,” Yadav added.
He said there was no contest with Congress candidate Romesh Sabharwal from New Delhi seat.
“I do not consider Romesh Sabharwal as competitor. My fight is with Kejriwal and I will defeat him. I am confident and more than that, my party is assured of my victory,” Yadav emphasised.
It will be first major election in Sabharwal’s 40-year-old political career. Sabharwal is the former Delhi unit president of Congress’ student wing — National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).
BJP, in the first list, had released 57 names which included AAP rebel Kapil Mishra. The total candidate count of the party has gone up to 67 after the release of the final list on Tuesday.
The Delhi legislative assembly has 70 seats. The remaining three seats were given to BJP allies Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Janata Dal United (JDU).
The voting will be held on February eight.
Who is Sunil Yadav?
Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate from New Delhi constituency Sunil Yadav is currently the President of Delhi unit of the party’s youth wing — Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).
Starting his political career as ‘Mandal Adhyaksh’ (District President) of BJYM, Yadav went on to become BJP’s Delhi unit secretary, and later secretary of the Yuva Morcha. Yadav is also an advocate and a social activist.
While pitting him against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal, the saffron party is banking on Yadav’s youth appeal and fiery speeches.