The three well-known faces of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) — S.P. Udayakumar, M.P. Jesuraj and M. Pushparayan — entering the Lok Sabha polls from the three constituencies in Southern Tamil Nadu said they were ready to face police action, including arrest, awaiting them. “They may be arrested if they leave Idinthakarai as they are facing several charges,” said David Barun Kumar, convenor of the AAP’s State campaign committee.
Mr. Udayakumar is the candidate for the Kanyakumari constituency, while Mr. Jesuraj and Pushparayan have been fielded in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi constituencies respectively. The three are in the forefront of agitations against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) and are leaders of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE).
On Wednesday, the AAP in Tamil Nadu released a list of nine candidates for the Lok Sabha polls at Chennai.
Asked for his reaction, Mr. Udayakumar told The-Hindu that even though the 15 recommendations of the Supreme Court include withdrawal of cases against the anti-Kudankualam protestors, the State government had not done anything so far.
“They have filed many cases including sedition charges against us. But the government cannot substantiate the charges against us,” he added.
Mr. Jesuraj said the decision to join the AAP and contest elections was an extension of their struggle against the nuclear power project and a slew of other issues including livelihood for fishermen. Mr. Pushparayan said he and his companions in the struggle against the KKNPP would mobilise people’s support on the plank of development for southern districts and livelihood for people. Besides the three, AAP has fielded a doctor, a technocrat, an illustrator, among others, in the Lok Sabha polls. The youngest among them is Satheesh Kumar, the candidate for Salem. He has a Master’s degree from BITS Pilani and has worked with leading software companies such as BirlaSoft and Oracle Corp abroad.
“There is a lot of talent in Salem and all they need is guidance and communication skills. I will ensure that the students in Salem acquire these skills and stay in Tamil Nadu instead of leaving for Bangalore,” Mr. Satheesh Kumar said. Earlier, Mr. David expressed the hope that AAP cadres would vote for the Left parties in constituencies where the party was not contesting.