Final list to be decided after consultation with the grass-root workers of the respective areas

Taking a lead over all the mainstream political parties, the Aam Aadmi Party on Friday announced its list of 44 shortlisted candidates for 12 constituencies for the Delhi Assembly elections scheduled later this year . The party had invited applications from Delhiites for candidature over a month ago.

While releasing the list, AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal said the party would decide on the names of the final 12 only after recommendations and consultation with the grass-root workers of the respective areas. The shortlisted candidates are expected to engage in debate and discussion in their respective constituencies.

While there can be debate on most of the 44 names, there are a few “most likely” names in the list. They include Shazia Ilmi from R.K. Puram and Manish Sisodia from Patparganj. Interestingly the candidates were shortlisted by a ‘candidate screening committee’ which is co-chaired by Mr. Sisodia and Sanjay Singh.

When asked how come fair play is expected in the selection when Mr. Sisodia himself was one of the applicants, he replied that if the workers wanted him to remain out of the polling process he would be happy to be out of the race for the party ticket.

For these 12 seats around 106 people had applied and they included Indian Institute of Technology engineers, advocates, journalists, former defence officials, resident welfare associations office-barers, social activists and even workers from the Congress party and the BJP.

Mr. Kejriwal was quick to point out that a proper selection process involving the rigorous process of screening, interviewing and verifying the candidates for their criminal background and popularity at the local level was done before zeroing in on the final names. He also highlighted that all care has been taken to keep dynasty politics out of the party.

While talking about the people who owed allegiance to the BJP and the Congress finding a place in the list, Mr. Kejriwal claimed that one of the candidates was associated with the Congress for 25 years while another was a BJP volunteer at local level. But, he said, there were people in other parties who want to be a part of politics of change.

“We wanted to make sure that people who are honest and have impeccably clean record and image find a place in the list. We have also ensured that no two persons belonging to the same family get tickets,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

Talking about the funding for the elections, the AAP leader said: “We have received over Rs. 2 crore in the last two months through internet banking. Anybody can visit our site and see the list of donors. We don’t accept any amount from those who want to remain anonymous.”

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