Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said none of the party’s sitting MLAs would be given tickets in the coming general elections.
The announcement means that Kejriwal, himself a member of the legislative assembly (MLA) of Delhi, will not be able to contest the Lok Sabha elections, at least till the Delhi Assembly is dissolved.
After the AAP government resigned on February 14, Delhi came under President’s rule.
Answering a direct question about why there was no transparency in decision making in the party and how come former Delhi minister Rakhi Birla, a sitting MLA from Mangolpuri, was a likely candidate, Kejriwal told reporters: “We have decided that we will not give tickets to any legislator.”
He said it was a good sign that people were protesting and there was such a huge demand for party tickets. Kejriwal’s announcement was in tune with a decision to this effect taken by the party’s political affairs committee (PAC).
The announcement was prompted by the mounting pressure on the party after some volunteers staged an indefinite fast right in front of its Hanuman Road office for four days, protesting the likely candidature of Birla from the Northwest parliamentary constituency.
The party had earlier expelled Laxmi Nagar MLA Vinod Kumar Binny, who the party alleged had demanded a Lok Sabha ticket.Although there was no official announcement of Birla’s name, sources had earlier said her name featured as the most likely candidate. In fact, posters and boards indicating her candidature had come up across that constituency.The protesters ended their fast late in the evening with senior party leader Gopal Rai offering them juice. One of them Mohd Saffruddin Ansari, a Bawana resident, said, “We are happy with the party’s announcement.”