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After head start, AAP lags in race to name candidates

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 16, 2013
First Published: 11:25 IST(16/10/2013) | Last Updated: 11:35 IST(16/10/2013)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had taken the lead in selecting and announcing candidates for the December 4 Delhi assembly elections. But six months down the line, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party has not been able to finish the process it started way back in April.

Till Monday, the party had declared names for 60 of the total 70 seats. Among the remaining seats, the party is struggling to find replacement candidates for three seats where candidates had been withdrawn. For the rest seven seats, the party claimed it was still in the process of finding candidates who match its criteria.

AAP's had declared candidates for Timarpur, Krishna Nagar and Seelampur but all of them withdrew.

Sushil Chauhan, the party's Krishna Nagar candidate, quit in September first week citing personal reasons, amid rumours that he withdrew allegedly to favour the BJP candidate from the area. Aftab Ahmed from Seelampur too quit a few weeks ago. Rajni (she goes with single name) from Timarpur quit allegedly after meeting with strong resistance from local volunteers.

The party is yet to find candidates for the rest of the seats - Kalkaji, Kasturba Nagar, Jangpura, Moti Nagar, Nangloi Jat, Sultanpur Mirza and Adarsh Nagar. It has, however, declared a list of probable candidates for Jangpura and Adarsh Nagar.

On the three replacements, party spokesperson Manish Sisodia claimed the candidates had withdrawn on their own as they felt they could not sustain the campaigning. "They themselves realised this. Another factor, for instance at Timarpur, was lack of volunteers' support for the candidate. We have initiated the process all over again for selecting the right candidate."

Pointing out that it was becoming difficult to find candidates who qualify AAP's selection criteria, he said: "We are confident that our process will yield good candidates soon for all the 10 remaining seats."

Explaining why AAP could not finish the process of finalising names within two months as announced earlier, Sisodia said: "We never thought it would take so long. The most time-consuming part is the background check of candidates. We ask people's opinion about the short-listed candidates. This feedback too is voluminous."

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