Pre-empting its national counterparts, the Aam Aadmi Party (APP) on Saturday announced a list of 11 candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in Delhi.
The candidates — including a former army officer, journalists and engineers — have been selected after a prolonged screening process, including preferential voting for various constituencies.
Party spokesperson Manish Sisodia (Patparganj), Shazia Ilmi, AAP’s national executive member (RK Puram), Col Devendra Sehrawat, former armyman, now fighting for land rights of Delhi’s farmers (Bijwasan), Santosh Koli, activist fighting against corruption in PDS, actively involved in RTI and Janlokpal movements (Seemapuri), and Saurabh Bhardwaj, an engineer fighting the cause of underprivileged, blind, poor students, etc., (Greater Kailash), are some of the prominent candidates.
The average age of these 11 candidates is 37 years. In all, 97 applications were received for these 11 constituencies, AAP said in a statement.
The party’s screening committee shortlisted a few names from each constituency after detailed talks/interviews with the candidates. People from respective area were asked to give opinion on these candidates before going for preferential voting.
“Active volunteers were given the right to reject these candidates. Then, the party’s political affairs committee finalised the candidate,” the statement said.
“With this kind of selection process, we have challenged the established norms in the Indian political system. First, people now have the option of electing their representatives — only those patriotic persons with clean image rather than corrupt, criminal and/or characterless politicians. Second, this also puts a check on the system of selling/buying of party tickets with the high command’s agreement,” AAP claimed.
The party also claimed that it would not field any candidate with a criminal background, a “characterless or one with a poor image’’.