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Posted at: Apr 23, 2019, 8:02 AM; last updated: Apr 23, 2019, 8:02 AM (IST)

Change of nominee at last minute may affect Cong

Lalit Nagar replaced with Bhadana from Faridabad Lok Sabha seat

jendra Ahlawat

Tribune News Service

Faridabad, April 22

The last-minute replacement of Lalit Nagar by Avtar Singh Bhadana as the Congress candidate from the Faridabad parliamentary seat is expected to have both positive and negative effects. Nagar’s candidature announced on April 13 was withdrawn last night amidst high drama, bringing to the fore infighting in the party.

Mandeep Singh, a political analyst, said that changing candidate at the eleventh hour might spoil the credibility of the party, as infighting stands exposed, and hurt its election prospects.

He said that while supporters of Nagar, who had already started campaigning, were sulking and might stay away from campaigning and also rebel. With just 20 days to go for the polling, the new candidate might not be able to cover the whole constituency having a voter strength of 19.6 lakh, as the election campaign requires extensive and comprehensive groundwork to reach out to voters. Lalit Nagar, who was confident of retaining the ticket on Sunday evening, had even invited mediapersons for the coverage of his nomination filing today. Earlier sensing opposition to his candidature and ongoing efforts to replace him, he had postponed the filing of nomination papers on April 19 to April 22. Bhadana filed his nomination papers today.

On the other hand, it is believed that the Congress had made a mistake by overlooking stronger contenders and the replacement of the candidate was a bit delayed, though not wrong. While three-time MP Avtar Singh Bhadana, MLA Karan Dalal and former Haryana minister Mahender Pratap Singh were strong contenders, Lalit Nagar’s selection made the supporters of these leaders to stay away from campaigning, said Satender Singh, another political analyst.

“It’s better late than never,” said Yogesh Sharma, a former MLA. He described Nagar’s replacement as a kind of lifeline and said the Congress had made a comeback through Bhadana, who would file his nomination papers tomorrow.

In 2000, the Congress had changed the candidate from Faridabad in the Assembly elections even though he had already filed his nomination papers.

Right move? 

Supporters of Lalit Nagar, who had already started campaigning, are sulking. They might stay away from campaigning and rebel. With just 20 days to go for the polling, Avtar Singh Bhadana might not be able to cover the whole constituency having a voter strength of 19.6 lakh. Some believe the Congress has made a mistake by overlooking stronger contenders. They say the replacement of the candidate was a bit delayed, though not wrong. 

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