Journalist-turned-politician Ashish Khetan was named as AAP’s New Delhi candidate while former army officer and activist Col Devender Sehrawat was announced as the party’s South Delhi candidate on Monday.
Khetan, 38, the third journalist after Ashutosh and Jarnail Singh to get an AAP ticket, claimed his journalism against “corruption and communalism” will set him in good stead. Sehrawat claimed his work for rural communities and as an anti-corruption activist will help him defeat rivals.
Both Congress and BJP are yet to announce a single candidate for the April 10 election to Delhi’s seven parliamentary seats. Filing of nominations will start from March 15.
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The South Delhi seat is a mix of posh colonies such as Vasant Kunj, planned colonies such as Dwarka, rural areas and unauthorised colonies comprising mostly migrants. “Important issues here are lack of infrastructure, health facility and poor standards of government schools,” Sehrawat, 48, told HT.
Sehrawat had contested from Bijwasan on AAP ticket in the 2013 Assembly polls but lost to BJP’s Sat Prakash Rana by just over 2,400 votes.
But things have changed post-Delhi election results, Sehrawat said. “Rural voters don’t form opinion on the basis of editorials or TV coverage. They are more convinced about AAP government’s positive impact by way of examples from their neighbourhood. Someone has said, he had not needed to bribe at SDM office, someone else tells his work was done at the RTO without bribe.”
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For Khetan, this is the first time he will be taking head on the politicians he has been trashing through his writings all these years. “I have been fighting against corruption and communalism all these years. But it has had limited result. After quitting mainstream journalism an year ago, I started my own venture along with filing PILs. But this too proved to be a slow and tardy process,” Khetan said.
The Twitter was abuzz with comments about Khetan’s stint as journalist. While some praised him for exposing the Gujarat killings through ‘OperationKalank’, there were others who were critical about his affidavit filed before the two-member commission set up by Gujarat government in the alleged Snoopgate case.