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A former Infosys director, a prominent Shia cleric, an investigative journalist and a satirist were among the 61 candidates named by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday in its fourth list for the Lok Sabha elections.
Bengaluru is set to see two former Infosys honchos make poll debut, with AAP fielding former chief financial officer of the IT giant V Balakrishnan from Bangalore Central. The Congress had on March 8 named Infosys co-founder and Unique Identification Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilekani as Bangalore South candidate. Balakrishnan was among the 13 Karnataka candidates named on Monday.
Ashish Khetan, who founded investigative news portal gulail.com news, will contest elections from New Delhi constituency. Gulail was in the news recently for an expose that alleged Gujarat’s former minister of state for home and senior BJP leader Amit Shah had ordered surveillance of a young women at behest of one “sahib”, widely believed to be the saffron party’s PM candidate Narendra Modi.
Col (retd) Devendra Sehrwat, who fights for farmers’ causes and compensation issues, will be the South Delhi candidate.
Maulana Kalbe Rushaid, an Uttar Pradesh-based influential Shia cleric and a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, was among 39 Uttar Pradesh candidates. He will contest from Amroha. The party, however, didn’t name candidates for Varanasi or Lucknow – one of the two UP constituencies from where Modi is expected to contest.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is keen to take him on.
Bhagwant Mann, a satirist, has been fielded from Sangrur in Punjab.
AAP also named candidates against some big wigs from both the Congress and the BJP. Child rights activist Nina Nayak will take on Nilekani and BJP’s Ananth Kumar in Bangalore South, Dr Mahmood Husain Rehmani will contest against coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal in Kanpur and Sridhara Kallahalla has been fielded against former Karnataka CM and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa from Shimgoa.
AAP has so far named candidates for 131 of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies.