The BJP seems to be the laggard in preparing for the February 7 election as it has yet to come out with the first list of candidates, while its rival AAP is way off the mark with all 70 candidates named. Even the Congress, a party facing dim prospects this time, has declared names for 24 seats.
Senior party leaders blamed infighting among leaders of the state unit for the delay in the announcement of BJP candidates. It is understood that the decision is likely only after a few more days as Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay is holding consultations with the Central leadership, including party chief Amit Shah, and Arun Jaitley.
Sources said the list of all 70 candidates will have to be cleared by Shah first. A senior BJP leader on Monday claimed that the party will come out with its first list on Thursday and the second is likely on January 19.
Without an election committee in place, candidates are afraid there might be parachute candidates on their seats as the top brass will take the final call. Senior leaders in the Delhi unit said the late declaration of names could hurt the prospects of the party as AAP and Congress candidates have already started campaigning in their respective areas.
Some of the factors contributing to the delay, a leader said, was that the party has to decide on issues such as tickets to sitting councillors, denials of places to candidates over 70 years old and also local MPs’ preferences.