‘It has not yet been decided from which constituency’
In an attempt to position itself as an alternative to the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP, the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday announced that its leader Arvind Kejriwal will contest the Delhi Assembly elections and also revealed the process of candidate selection for the polls scheduled later this year.
An interesting aspect of the process is that any Delhi resident having the support of at least 100 people can fill out the form and submit it to the party by May 5 after which the forms will be screened and the final list announced in two months.
The party said its national convenor Arvind Kejriwal will contest the polls but it has not yet been decided from which constituency he will face the electorate. The announcement comes within weeks of the former protégé of Anna Hazare ending his fast against “inflated” power bills.
“Mr. Kejriwal will contest the elections but we have not decided yet about the constituency. The party workers are quite enthusiastic about him fighting elections,” said senior party leader Manish Sisodia while announcing the AAP’s plan to invite applications and suggestions from the common public for all 70 constituencies in Delhi.
There was no decision yet on who else from the top party brass will fight the elections, he added, while elaborating the process of selection of candidates.
Some of the things which disqualify a candidate from applying for the AAP ticket are: belonging to a political dynasty, being a rebel candidate or serious allegations of corruption. In determining the character and criminal record of a particular aspirant, the party will also take into account, besides the FIR, the view of the public about them. Nobody with serious allegations against him/ her will be given tickets, the party statement said.
“The Aam Aadmi Party needs people with character to fight the elections. We are starting the process to select candidates from today. We are expecting suggestions from the common public till May 5 after which the screening committee of the party will shortlist five. Then the political affairs committee will interview the candidates,” Mr. Sisodia said.
While hitting out at the political class, he said it was the manner in which parties like the Congress and the BJP select and nominate their candidates in closed rooms that the “very roots of political corruption” in the country lay.
“Out of the total 875 candidates in the last Assembly elections, as many as 91 did not have clean records. The BJP and the Congress alone fielded 19-19 candidates, some of them had serious charges like murder, attempt to murder and kidnapping against them,” said the AAP statement issued at the occasion.