To avoid incidents of shooting due to “mistaken identity,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), in its manifesto for Tamil Nadu, suggested “co-ordinated patrolling” between the Sri Lankan Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.

Minutes after the party released its manifesto at a press conference, members of the policy team was asked why the AAP did not realise the fact that the Sri Lankan Navy shot at the fishermen knowing well that they were from Tamil Nadu. They were speechless for a moment. They could not answer how the manifesto could mention it as “mistaken identity.”

“This document talks about future,” said K. Jayaram, a member of the policy team. Bombarded with the same question how they could be insensitive to the fishermen issue, he hastened to add: “We will withdraw it from the manifesto.”

That particular point was missing in the Tamil translation of the manifesto. “It’s a rough translation,” he clarified. Be it the fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen in their traditional waters, the Mullaperiyar dam issue or the Kudankulam nuclear power project issue, the team, again, had no clear policy and it fumbled for words to explain the party’s stand.

“We oppose any nuclear power project if locals oppose it,” says AAP State convener Christina Samy. But she could not declare that the party was against the Kudankulam project.

Earlier, giving a contextual background to the manifesto, Asha Krishnakumar, head of the AAP’s public policy team, said a scientific, stratified random survey, covering 5,000 people, was conducted to analyse the issues faced by the common man. Corruption topped the list, followed by water, employment, price rise and women’s safety.

Kejriwal not coming

AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal will not visit Tamil Nadu in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.

Ms. Christina Samy said: “I had a discussion with him in New Delhi. Initially, he was thinking of campaigning in the State. Now that he is fighting the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, in Varanasi, he will not come.”

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