BJP names Vijay Goel as its Delhi unit chief

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Making the first move to kickstart its campaign for the Assembly elections in Delhi later this year, the BJP on Friday named former Union Minister Vijay Goel as its state unit chief.

BJP sources said Goel, who replaces Vijender Gupta as Delhi BJP chief, is likely to take on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in a straight contest for the top job. Goel was appointed by BJP chief Rajnath Singh.

"The party has entrusted me with this role in an Assembly election year and I will not let it down. We will start taking up issues soon and will make more efforts to reach the masses. I understand my responsibility well," Goel said while being surrounded by party workers and celebrations at his Bengali Market office on Friday evening.

With some months left to prepare for the polls, Goel is expected to put together a team of state leaders to take on the ruling Congress for the 70 seats in the Assembly.

Sources close to Goel maintained that though he has been busy in national politics for some years now, he remained active at the state level too.

A former Delhi University Students' Union president, Goel started his political career as the youth president of the BJP in Delhi.

He won three consecutive Lok Sabha elections from Sadar and Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituencies. Goel is an alumnus of Shri Ram College of Commerce.

He was the minister of state in the PMO in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Goel also served as the Union Minister of Labour, Parliamentary Affairs, Statistics & Programme Implementation, and Youth Affairs & Sports in the NDA government until 2004.

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