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Arvind waits till last day

Delhi CM misses nomination as rally drags on

By Our Special Correspondent in New Delhi

  • Published 21.01.20, 2:38 AM
  • Updated 21.01.20, 2:38 AM
Kejriwal during a road show in New Delhi on Monday.
Kejriwal during a road show in New Delhi on Monday. (Prem Singh)

Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal could not file his nomination for the Assembly polls on Monday because, boosted by a large turnout, his rally continued longer than expected.

Tuesday is the last date to file nominations for the February 8 elections.

Kejriwal has represented the New Delhi Assembly constituency twice since 2013, both times winning more than half the votes polled. This time, too, he began his pre-nomination rally after worshipping at the Valmiki temple near the Ramakrishna Ashram, at 11.30am.

But the rally did not end before 3pm, when the returning officer closes for the day. “I had to file my nomination today but could not because the nomination office closes at 3pm and I was late,” Kejriwal told the crowd.

“I was repeatedly told to leave the rally and travel to the nomination office, but how could I? I could not leave behind this outpouring of love and support from my people. We are ending the road show here. I shall go with my family and file my nomination tomorrow.”

Neither the Congress nor the BJP has yet named its candidate against Kejriwal.

“I prayed to Lord Shiva early in the morning, sought the blessings of Lord Valmiki at the Valmiki Mandir, and visited the Hanuman Mandir just now to pray to Lord Hanuman that the next five years be as fulfilling as the previous five years,” Kejriwal told the rally.

The Aam Aadmi Party’s use of the broom symbol and Kejriwal’s pre-nomination visits to the Valmiki temple are meant to appeal to Dalits, many of whom worship sage Valmiki and are sanitation workers.

Most candidates visit places of worship before filing their nominations, and the Aam Aadmi Party also publicised the temple and gurdwara visits by its senior candidates Atishi Marlena, Raghav Chadha and Manish Sisodia.