The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Tamil Nadu is looking to contest at least 15 seats in the Lok Sabha polls. These would largely include constituencies which have sitting Members of Parliament with criminal and/or corruption record.
On Monday, the party blew the poll bugle by staging a State-wide protest against “anti-farmer” industrial projects, including a proposed coal-bed methane exploration in the Cauvery delta region. This was the first time the Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit had arranged a protest of this scale on a local issue.
National Executive Member of the AAP, Christina Samy, who led the agitation at Valluvar Kottam here, said that the party had carried out extensive consultations with the farming community to identify the core issues.
Though the AAP was largely considered an urban phenomenon, in Tamil Nadu the party was looking to focus on rural constituencies as well. Selection of seats by the party for the Lok Sabha polls would reflect this objective. “Our aim is to provide an alternative to the corrupt political discourse of the day. We are looking to field candidates against ministers and legislators with criminal and corruption records,” she said. Asked about anti-nuclear activist S.P. Udayakumar calling the party “Eliya Makkal Katchi” in his statements, she said it was merely a Tamil translation of the party’s name for popular use. The leadership had given no instruction to change its original name in Tamil Nadu, she clarified.