Hans Raj Hans vs Udit Raj: Comparative credentials

Not only several instances of going against the party line but also negative feedback from North-West Delhi sealed the fate of Udit Raj while Hans Raj Hans is believed to appeal to the Punjabi crowd in the constituency

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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) on Tuesday replaced Udit Raj with singer Hans Raj Hans as its candidate for the North West Delhi parliamentary constituency.

Hans Raj Hans will contest against AAP’s Gugan Singh and Congress’ Rajesh Lilothia.

Singer-turned-politician Hans Raj Hans is a recipient of the civilian honour of Padma Shri. He sings non-film Punjabi folk and Sufi music as well as in movies and has also released his own Punjabi-pop albums. He has worked alongside other artists, such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the movie Kachche Dhaage.

With this, the BJP has named its candidate for all the seven Lok Sabha seats

Dr Udit Raj had threatened to resign from the BJP if denied a ticket. He stated that he would contest as an independent candidate in that scenario.

“I am a disciplined BJP member, I am just asking for what is due to me,” he said demanding the ticket from North West Delhi. He also said he would wait for some time for a reply from the party and then file his nomination as an independent candidate.

The threat issued to the party leadership early on Tuesday caught the attention of many.

The next tweet from him suggested he was going through some mood swings.

On Sunday, the BJP had renominated four of its seven MPs from Delhi and named candidates for two other seats on Monday.

Late Monday Night, a quarrel was reported between the supporters of Hans Raj Hans and Dr Udit Raj in Delhi.

In 2013, Dr Udit Raj, ex-Indian Revenue Service officer, had resigned from his post and constituted the Indian Justice Party.

In 2014, a year later, he merged his party with BJP, contested the 2014 general election on a BJP ticket and won although, in the past, he had been a staunch opponent of the BJP. While he said during the 2014 election campaign that “Dalits have a brighter future in BJP”, his name figures in the book Breaking India by Rajeev Malhotra and Arvindan Neelakandan as one of the elements that have worked against the interests of the nation.

While it cannot be said for sure that nationalism would sway voters of North-West Delhi despite a patriotic wave across urban centres of India following the Balakot airstrike, the BJP was also concerned about the negative feedback it had received about Udit Raj from the constituency, which finally sealed his fate.

Hans Raj Hans is a rookie, but the BJP is banking on the Punjabi factor that is strong in N-W Delhi.

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