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Ticket denial row triggers a battle within Congress in Delhi

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Ticket denial row triggers a battle within Congress in Delhi

Supporters of Congress leaders Raj Kumar Chauhan and Mahabal Mishra staged a protest outside the party office and Rahul Gandhi's residence on Sunday

The Congress, which is yet to declare its candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in Delhi, is witnessing infighting over tickets. Supporters of Congress leaders Raj Kumar Chauhan and Mahabal Mishra staged a protest outside the party office and Rahul Gandhi's residence on Sunday following reports that the two leaders were denied ticket for the Lok Sabha polls.

Sources claimed the Congress has finalised all the seven candidates and is likely to field Delhi Congress working president Rajesh Lilothia from North West Delhi, from where Raj Kumar Chauhan was hopeful.

Olympic medal winner wrestler Sushil Kumar could be fielded from Purvanchali dominated constituency of West Delhi from where Mishra was to be fielded. I am trying to pacify my supporters but they are angry over neglect of Purvanchali people. An official announcement of candidates is awaited but the Congress may suffer losses because Purvanchali voters dominate West Delhi seat, Mishra said.

Mishra was elected from West Delhi in 2009 and was three-time MLA from Dwarka Assembly lying in the parliamentary constituency. The supporters of Chauhan, a Dalit leader of the Delhi Congress and former minister in the Sheila government, also staged protest outside Gandhi's residence. Chauhan's supporters claimed that he was informally apprised about being given ticket from North West Delhi and had already begun preparations for campaigning.

It is beyond our belief that our leader's ticket has been given to someone else. We will not relent till party changes its decision, a close aide of Chauhan said. Sources said the party has finalised names of Sheila from Chandni Chowk, J P Agarwal from North East Delhi, Ramesh Kumar from South Delhi and Arvinder Singh Lovely from East Delhi seats.