The Congress on Monday fielded boxer Vijender Singh, the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist, from the South Delhi seat in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. The party believes that Singh, who hails from Haryana, will be an ideal choice for the constituency which neighbours Haryana and has a number of Jat and Gurjar voters.
"Congress Central Election Committee announces the candidate for the ensuing elections to the Lok Sabha from South Delhi constituency of Delhi," the party tweeted on Monday evening.
Congress Central Election Committee announces the candidate for the ensuing elections to the Lok Sabha from South Delhi constituency of Delhi pic.twitter.com/9OeQv2FA9H— Congress (@INCIndia) April 22, 2019
While accepting the offer, Singh tweeted: "In more than 20 yrs of my career in boxing i have always made my country proud in the ring. Now its time to do something for my countrymen & serve them. I would like to accept this opportunity & thank @INCIndia party @RahulGandhi ji @priyankagandhi ji for this responsibility"
In more than 20 yrs of my career in boxing i have always made my country proud in the ring. Now its time to do something for my countrymen & serve them. I would like to accept this opportunity & thank @INCIndia party @RahulGandhi ji @priyankagandhi ji for this responsibility— Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) April 22, 2019
Earlier, the party had contemplated fielding Ramesh Kumar from the crucial seat. The constituency is currently represented by BJP's Ramesh Bidhuri. Singh will also take on Aam Aadmi Party's Raghav Chadha.
The annoucement came just a few hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded former cricketer Gautam Gambhir from East Delhi Lok Sabha seat. The 37-year-old cricketer has replaced sitting BJP MP Mahesh Giri. He will be contesting against Congress candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely and Aam Aadmi Party’s Atishi from the East Delhi parliamentary constituency.
The former opening batsman, who played a key role in India's triumph in the 2011 World Cup and the 2007 T-20 World Cup, had joined the BJP in March in the presence of Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad.
He was recently conferred upon the Padma Shri award. After joining the party, Gambhir had said that he was impressed by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will work for the country's welfare as a member of the party.
The BJP has retained Meenakshi Lekhi, the party’s sole woman MP in the national capital, and gave ticket from New Delhi Lok Sabha seat. She is pitted against AAP's Brajesh Goel and Ajay Maken of the Congress.
The party is yet to name its candidate for the North-west Delhi constituency. According to sources, the BJP is likely to release another list in a while. Sources said that Udit Raj, incumbent MP from the North West seat, is constantly trying to call BJP organisational general secretary Ramlal but in vain.
The Congress on Monday announced the names of six candidates for Delhi Lok Sabha seats , fielding former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from North-East Delhi, Ajay Maken from New Delhi and JP Agarwal from Chandni Chowk.
In North East Delhi, Dikshit has been pitted against her BJP counterpart, state unit chief Manoj Tiwari, and AAP’s Dilip Pandey.
The Congress also fielded Arvinder Singh Lovely from East Delhi, Rajesh Lilothia from North-West Delhi and Mahabal Mishra from West Delhi. The party is yet to declare its candidate for South Delhi seat.
The announcement of candidates came after talks of alliance between the AAP and the Congress failed as the Rahul Gandhi led party wanted a tie up only in Delhi while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) wanted the alliance to be forged in Haryana as well.