New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is hoping to be the game-changer in the Delhi Assembly elections and are making fight against corruption their main plank. Keeping that in mind, AAP has been trying to pick its candidates carefully. Even before the electoral battle there is a battle within the AAP as Surendra Sharma, a candidate from Shahdara constituency in Delhi, is challenging the candidate selection process. He claims that not only had he disclosed the numerous FIRs registered against him but also went through the rigorous selection process which included an interview with Sisodia, investigations into his background, voting by active volunteers, a meeting with Kejriwal and endorsement by the Political Affairs Committee (PAC).
Advocate Surendra Sharma says, “They have levelled false charges, I’ll take them to court.” AAP leader Manish Sidodia, member of screening committee denied Sharma charged saying: “Sharma had not disclosed many details.”
The AAP believes he had indulged in unfair means while conducting elections to the bar council. Sharma’s campaign manager, however, alleges that pressure was put on him to withdraw. while Sharma is no longer the candidate for AAP, but the posters put up in the area has done some damage as they have sent a mixed signal to the voters.
A complaint is also registered against another AAP candidate Deshraj Raghav from Uttam Nagar. A complaint in the Lokayukta by the BJP’s Anchal Sharma alleges Raghav and his family own many ration shops in the area. Achal Sharma asks, “How can one family have so many ration shops?”
While admitting that there are four ration shops in the names of his two brothers, wife and widowed sister, Raghav says that no FIR has been lodged against anyone. “There is no fir in my name, my father’s name or my grandfather’s name,” he said. Members of the screening committee admit that their one-in -kind experiment of choosing candidates is not water tight. Yogendra said, “We can improve.” The AAP experiment has touched a chord in the aam aadmi by raising expectations but it has also exposed the difficulties in finding candidates who fit the standards of the party.