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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Aam aadmi no longer to pick AAP candidates

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 12, 2014
First Published: 00:33 IST(12/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:37 IST(12/8/2014)

Taking the party towards what many would view as the “high-command” culture it once despised, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal has indicated that a panel will now have the final say on candidate selection and will not depend solely on feedback from volunteers.

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This comes a day before the party will be depending on its volunteers to reach out to 33 lakh-odd households to get people to press for fresh elections in Delhi.

Addressing party volunteers during a Google Hangout session on Saturday, Kejriwal told the volunteers that no organisation can take all decisions by taking opinions of all stakeholders. AAP has around 4,000 active volunteers in Delhi.

“Volunteers’ opinion should be taken. But often their opinion has an element of selfishness. A panel does not have such issues, does its checks before deciding on names and should make final decisions,” Kejriwal is heard in a video clip seen by HT. 

AAP had a spectacular debut in politics last year, thanks largely to the spontaneous support of its volunteers, when it won 28 of the 70 Delhi assembly seats.

An AAP spokesperson clarified, “Kejriwal merely tried pointing out flaws in the current system. We maintain that voices on the ground matter. In fact he invited suggestions from volunteers on how to get better in candidate selection.”

The AAP had taken opinion of its volunteers from each assembly segment in selecting candidates for the 2013 Delhi elections. “We had a lot of difficulty in selecting candidates last time around. Each volunteer applied for ticket. Can you give ticket to someone who got six votes from volunteers? What about someone who got five?” Kejriwal says, adding, “A process is on to define who our volunteer is.”

“In Mehrauli volunteers recently ran way with the ballot box during a vote (for candidate selection). This is selfishness of the worst kind. There are some volunteers who have no shame. For them the concept of swaraj is tamasha and they use it to justify misconduct,” Kejriwal says in the video.


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