Having shortlisted 300 names from 26 assembly segments across the state, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is all set to announce its first list of candidates.
The screening committee comprising state affairs incharge, Sanjay Singh, national organisation building head, Durgesh Pathak, state convener Sucha Singh Chottepur, members of Parliament, Bhagwant Mann and Sadhu Singh is planning to meet within a day or two to suggest five names from each constituency to the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) , which would zero down on a final name.
However, the first list is likely to comprise mostly first timers who would fulfil party’s three C-criterion (of good character, non-communal and not nvolved in any corrupt practices),sources said. “These three were the minimum qualifications. The rest would include his subscribing to party’s ideology, team spirit and popularity,” Pathak told The Indian Express.
Party’s heavyweights including Chottepur and others would be named in the next lists. They are likely to be pitted against heavy-weights of rival political parties.
“No leader would contest on a ‘safe-seat’ and would take on the big-wigs of rival parties. We have taken this decision to convey a message that we want to rout out corrupt leaders from the state. Our leaders would not shy away from a contest than look for a safe seat,” said Pathak.
This is not the first time that AAP has taken this decision to fight stalwarts. In 2013, Delhi assembly polls as well, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had contested against the then Chief Minister Sheila Dixit. In 2014, Lok Sabha election he had contested against Narendra Modi from Varanasi.
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According to a leader, the second list of 30-40 candidates would be out by August 15 and they are likely to announce all their candidates by September.
Considering a huge number of contenders with atleast 10 from each constituency , and maximum of 34 from Ropar, the party may face dissidents to the run up to the elections. Allaying fears that distribution of tickets may create a divide within the party, a leader said, “Our contenders are not ticket hungry. They are attached to the party for its ideology. But if there are any disgruntled leaders , we will see how to handle them.”