With Savita Bhatti withdrawing her candidature as the Aam Aadmi party candidate from the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat, hopes of candidates who had been shortlisted previously have been revived.
Party convener Roopinder Dhaliwal said: "This time, we are hopeful that the party leadership will at least consult us before announcing the candidate. It seems the 31 names shortlisted, including the seven, who were called for interview, will be considered once again."
More than 250 people had applied for the Chandigarh ticket, including professionals, businessmen and government employees willing to resign and join politics. From Chandigarh, applicants called for the interview were a doctor from Chicago, Munish Kumar Raizada; businessman HK Arora; advocate Ram Lakshman Mittal Kasiwal; PEC University professor Krishan Kumar Garg; retired engineer from Punjab government Palwinder Singh Bajwa and social worker Meena Sharma. Raizada is said to be camping in Delhi.
KK Garg had shot off a communique to party chief Arvind Kejriwal with subject line 'Thanks for selecting big names to fight on behalf of Aam Aadmi' in a comment on some of the names given the party ticket.
He has reportedly told Kejriwal that it would be a great gesture if a message is sent from his side to all those who applied for the AAP ticket, thanking them for showing faith in AAP and asking them to now support the chosen candidate.
He has pointed out in the mail to Kejriwal that as of now the AAP was giving more importance to image than person. "In case some of those given party tickets won, they would need to be trained to behave as Aam Aadmi and learn to relate with him otherwise much damage will be done to the struggle of Kejriwal," he alleged. He also urged the leader to take the local units in confidence before announcing the candidates.
Gul Panag's father in fray
The name of actor Gul Panag's father, Lt Gen HS Panag (retd) is also doing the rounds as one of the names being considered for the party ticket from Chandigarh. Panag had joined the party in February this year. Her purported role was to advise the AAP on strategic affairs.