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Soni Sori, Shazia Ilmi on AAP 6th list

In a significant move, the Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday announced the candidature of tribal activist Soni Sori in the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency.

An Adivasi school teacher from Dantewada in Chhattisgarh, Ms. Sori was arrested in 2011 on charges of acting as a conduit for Maoists. She was granted bail by the Supreme Court last month.

“Every voice has a place in democracy and must be heard,” said AAP spokesman Dilip Pandey. “Adivasis have been victimised and our party feels that society must stand with them. If someone like Soni Sori comes forward, she can be their voice and fight for them.”

AAP leader Prashant Bhushan had approached the 36-year-old activist and requested her to be the party’s candidate.

The party’s sixth list of 55 candidates includes former journalist Shazia Ilmi, who will contest from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Ms. Ilmi was earlier offered Rae Bareli, represented by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, but she wanted to contest from the National Capital Region for “personal reasons.” Ghaziabad is now held by BJP president Rajnath Singh.

“I wanted to contest from a place where I have a connect with the people. Yes, the party offered me Rae Bareli, but I had no connect with the people there and I did not want to be like the VIP candidates who never visit their constituencies after winning. Ghaziabad is crying for development. It makes sense that I contest from here,” she told The Hindu.

Besides Ms. Sori, the other candidates from Chhattisgarh are Lakshman Masuriya (Mahasamund) and Anand Mishra (Bilaspur.) Former IPS officer Kanchan Choudhary Bhattacharya, the first woman DGP of any State, will contest from Hardwar in Uttarakhand.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 4:10:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/soni-sori-shazia-ilmi-on-aap-6th-list/article5788936.ece

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