The BJP is planning to field former Delhi Minister and rebel AAP leader Kapil Mishra against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from New Delhi assembly constituency, party leaders said.
“Mishra’s candidature as a probable candidate against Kejriwal from New Delhi constituency has been discussed,” said a senior BJP leader, adding no final discussion has taken place on any candidate. Some party leaders, he said, want a senior leader to challenge the Aam Aadmi Party national convener in Delhi.
Mishra’s candidature cropped up as he had challenged Kejriwal in 2018 and pushed him on the back foot.
Another party leader said Mishra is willing to contest from the Karawal Nagar assembly seat, which he won in 2015. The BJP, which was reduced to three out of 70 seats in the 2015 assembly elections, is looking to make a comeback in the national capital.
BJP President Amit Shah held a night-long core group meeting of the party on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday that lasted till 3 a.m. He has convened the party’s Central Election Committee meeting to decide on the candidates.
The night-long meeting took feedback on probable candidates for each Delhi seat. The meeting was held at Shah’s residence which was attended by party’s working president J.P. Nadda, General Secretary (organisation) B.L. Santosh, party’s Delhi in-charge Prakash Javadekar, state President Manoj Tiwari among others.
According to BJP sources, the party will release a list of over 55 candidates by January 16.
Assembly polls in Delhi are due on February 8 and the counting of votes will take place on February 11.
In 2015 assembly polls, AAP won 67 seats while the Congress scored a nil.