The Aam Aadmi Party has removed Surendra Sharma, its candidate for the Delhi Assembly elections from Shahdara constituency, for hiding details of his criminal antecedents. The party took the decision after discovering that Mr. Sharma had cases lodged against him.

The AAP also learnt that Mr. Sharma had a large number of ongoing property disputes. He was recently appointed chairperson of the election committee of the Shahdara Bar Association. The party learnt that this election was cancelled due to the alleged use of unfair means and violence. The election was held under Mr. Sharma’s chairmanship.

“A number of respected members of the bar also complained to us about the unfair role played by him during the conduct of the election. His removal is in line with the AAP’s commitment to ensure that no person with doubtful credentials shall represent the party in the upcoming elections,” said party spokesperson Aswathi Muralidhran.

Reacting to Mr. Sharma’s removal, party leader Arvind Kejriwal said: “Even if on the last day of the nomination we receive any credible information against any candidate with regard to a criminal record, we will cancel the candidature and keep the seat vacant.”

Out of the total 70 Assembly constituencies, the AAP had announced candidates for 59 seats. The party now has to declare its candidates for 12 Assembly segments. With less than two months to go for the elections on December 4, the party will speed up the process of declaring the rest of the candidates.

The party has shortlisted names for the Tri Nagar seat and is expected to clear the final name on Monday, when its core political committee meets. The party is yet to announce its candidates for Krishna Nagar, the constituency of former Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan. The party had earlier announced Sushil Chauhan as the candidate but he later withdrew citing ‘personal reasons’.

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