Activist and trade unionist Jammu Anand, who raised the Yogita Thakre case, joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday and may be fielded from the Nagpur Lok Sabha constituency against the former BJP president, Nitin Gadkari.

When seven-year-old Yogita Thakre’s body was found in a car parked in Mr. Gadkari’s residence here in 2009, Jammu Anand took up the cause of the girl’s family and claimed that she was murdered and did not die of suffocation as claimed by the police. Mr. Anand even sat on hunger strike in front of Mr. Gadkari’s residence, demanding justice.

Mr. Anand resigned as the district secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) to join the AAP.

Asked if he was disillusioned with the Communist movement, Mr. Anand said, “No. But I see the AAP questioning the establishment and people supporting it, so I decided to join it unconditionally. My decision to join the AAP was Nagpur-centric.”

Against privatisation

Mr. Anand has also been opposing the privatisation drive in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) which he alleged was being done at the behest of Mr. Gadkari.

“If I contest, then the fight will be between a person who is heading the privatisation drive in Nagpur and an activist who is opposing it; and there are other issues like the Yogita Thakre murder case,” Mr. Anand told The Hindu.

He heads nine unions, including the Domestic Workers Union, Security Guards Union and NMC Employees Union affiliated to the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

“Jammu Anand is one of the candidates we are considering for the Nagpur seat. The process of candidate selection is on,” said AAP Maharashtra convener Anjali Damania.

Ms. Damania said the AAP would take the fight against Mr. Gadkari very seriously and the party would expose scams of the former BJP chief.