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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Was offered money to swap seat: AAP leader

Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times  Thiruvananthapuram, March 23, 2014
First Published: 00:15 IST(23/3/2014) | Last Updated: 00:00 IST(25/3/2014)

Disappointed for being offered monetary benefits to swap her seat, Aswathy Nair, a young social worker and AAP candidate says the party is no different.

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Shortlisted as a candidate from Alappuzha (Alapi) she withdrew at the last moment after she was shifted to the neighbouring Kollam seat without her consent.

“I was shocked when I got monetary offers, that too from foreign countries, to shift to Kollam. I was told by one Jackson Peter that I will be offered a good amount for swapping the seat,” she told Hindustan Times. Much embarrassed, the AAP central leadership has announced a probe into her revelations.

A social activist working among street urchins and downtrodden for the last six years, Nair said, she agreed to contest on AAP ticket after much prodding. 

On March 8, she finally gave the go-ahead and attended the customary interview in Kochi. After finalising her candidature from Alappuzha she was told by the AAP state leadership to contest from Kollam and make way for another candidate in Alappuzha.

But she refused and pulled out of the race.

“It is sad the party that was close to my heart gave me such pain. I have attended some of their functions. It is worse than some of the existing parties. There is no inner-party democracy and all decisions are taken by a bunch of leaders,” she said adding that the Alappuzha district unit, which supported her was branded rebel by the party. 

“They are good in digital communication but there is no people connect. Most of them are even reluctant to meet ordinary volunteers,” she said. 

However, AAP state unit has stoutly denied her claims.

“Before finalising her candidature from Alappuzha she began her campaigning that created some confusion,” said a party spokesman adding since the central leadership announced an inquiry into her charges it won’t be proper to divulge further details.


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