The political affairs committee of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in its meeting held in Delhi on Sunday formally expressed its 'consensus' on the name of Chhattisgarh tribal teacher Soni Sori (37) as the party's candidate from Maoist-affected Bastar constituency.
Sori, who was arrested in 2011 by Chhattisgarh police for allegedly acting as courier in fund transfer from Essar Group to the outlawed CPI (Maoist), has been granted bail by Supreme Court on February 7. Six cases were registered against her. She has been acquitted in four so far.
Delhi-based activist Himanshu Kumar, mentor and associate of Soni Sori, confirmed about the decision of AAP taken in the political affairs committee.
“AAP leader and eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan informed me that Sori’s name figured during the meeting and the consensus was reached on her candidature for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Now the process of filling up the application form and collecting 100 signatures of supporters from the five assembly segments of Bastar seat remain. That will begin soon”, Kumar told HT. Bastar Lok Sabha constituency has five assembly seats so she has to get the endorsement of at least 500 supporters to validate her candidature as per the norms laid down by the AAP.
However, the Chhattisgarh state office bearers of the AAP claimed they had no such information about Sori so far. “We have received the names of 20 candidates and there is no mention of Soni Sori in the list,” the party's state coordinator Uchit Sharma said.