New Delhi, Jan 17: Determined to put up a stiff challenge to AAP and make its comeback bid in Delhi - something the party has been waiting since 1998 - the BJP on Friday reposed faith on experience in a general sense but fielded a first timer Ravi Negi against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia from the Patparganj constituency.
Shortly after his candidature was announced, Mr Negi wrote on Facebook, "a party which has criminals will never understand the pain of a mother" - the reference to AAP regime's alleged goof up in ensuring early hanging of Nirbhaya rapists.
In another missive, he wrote in Hindi: "Heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the Delhi BJP state leadership for reposing confidence in a small party worker like me and fielding me from Patparganj".
Negi is also BJP's ward president from Vinod Nagar. Among the 57 candidates announced by Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari, also an MP, the saffron party announced that Ajit Kharkhari will take on Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot from rural hub Najafgarh.
Former Congress legislator S C Vats has been fielded by BJP against Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain from Shakur Basti. Another senior BJP leader and two-time MLA Naresh Gaur will try his luck from Babarpur against Labour Minister Gopal Rai.
Mr Gaur had represented the seat between 2008 and 2013 when the Congress was in power. BJP leader Lata Sodhi will take on Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain from Ballimaran.
Among others, sitting legislator Vijender Gupta will contest from his Rohini seat and an AAP defector Kapil Mishra is now BJP nominee from Model Town. Mr Tiwari speaking in presence of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the party will soon name its remaining nominees.
However, there are hints that a few seats would be spared for its ally Akali Dal. Rajouri Garden seat is currently held by Akali leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who had won on the BJP ticket.
The first list has 11 candidates from scheduled castes for reserved seats, four women and seven from 'Purvanchali community'. The polls to the Delhi Assembly will be held on February 8 and results will be declared on February 11. (UNI)