The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has “withdrawn support” from its candidate for Kandhamal, Narendra Mohanty (NaMo) after it was revealed from his affidavit to the Election Commission that he has 28 criminal cases against him.
Mohanty said it was sad that the leaders in New Delhi did not seek his explanation before withdrawing support. “This is a setback to those fighting against injustice to poor tribals at the grassroots,” he said, adding that his supporters and he had decided to go ahead with the campaign in the polls.
Mohanty will retain the election symbol of AAP, though, as the deadline for withdrawal of nominations is over.
Noted human rights lawyer Biswapriya Kanungo said AAP has sent a strong message that it is not with those who are with the grassroots struggles against state oppression and police atrocities.
“The government has filed such cases against several grassroots social activists fighting for the poor people,” he said.
Kanungo said Mohanty faces the most serious charges of sedition and offences against the state and rioting -- that are political in nature -- while murder and attempt to murder charges were also slapped against him along with these.