New Delhi: Former Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta will take on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the Dec 4 assembly elections, the BJP said Wednesday as it announced the names of 58 candidates while allocating four seats to its ally, the Akali Dal.
Gupta's candidature will make the New Delhi constituency a prestigious affair as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal is the third major contestant from there and both leaders have vowed to defeat Dikshit.
"It was my choice to contest from New Delhi (seat) against Sheila Dikshit as I have been challenging her poor policies and governance since the last 15 years. Now I have got an opportunity to take her head on," Gupta told IANS.
Gupta said that he did not consider Kejriwal a "serious threat."
"I challenge both of them for a public debate on any issue related to Delhi. We will win the seat with clear majority," he added.
Dikshit is yet to announce her candidature but it is widely believed that she will pitch for a fourth five-year term -- having ruled Delhi since 1998.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been out of power in Delhi for 15 long years, is expected to name its candidates for the remaining eight of the 70 Delhi constituencies later.
The Akali Dal, a long-term ally of the BJP, separately announced here and in Punjab that it will field candidates for four seats having a sizeable Sikh population -- Kalkaji, Shahdara, Hari Nagar and Rajouri Garden in alliance with the BJP. The candidates are expected to be named in a couple of days.
The Akali Dal contested four seats in Delhi in 2008 polls too.
Releasing its first list, the BJP said its chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan would be fielded from Krishna Nagar in east Delhi from where he has been elected four times.
Parvesh Verma, son of former Delhi chief minister Saheb Singh Verma, will be the BJP candidate in Mehrauli.
Delhi's former tourism minister Surender Rathawal will contest from his traditional Karol Bagh constituency.
Among other prominent candidates are Jagdish Mukhi (Janakpuri), Karan Singh Tanwar (Delhi Cantonment), Pawan Sharma (Uttam Nagar), Aarti Mehra (Malviya Nagar), Dharamdev Solanki (Palam), Ramesh Bidhuri (Tughlakabad) and Ram Veer Bidhuri (Badarpur).