New Delhi: The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has announced its first list of 44 candidates for Delhi's 12 constituencies, months before the city-state faces assembly elections. Prominent members Manish Sisodia and Shazia Ilmi have made it to the shortlist.
Most of the candidates have been listed as businessmen and introductions for many say they have participated in AAP protests. Other specifics regarding profession and property are vague. Asked about specifics, Kejriwal said, "It will be on our website shortly."
Shortlisted candidates include members of Delhi government disaster management committee, former Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress workers. A property dealer, an IIT graduate, an organiser of sports competitions in Najafgarh, businessmen, retired defence personnel, engineers, RTI activists, a CPI (ML) member, unsuccessful candidates contesting councillors' elections, a car cleaner, the chief of dargah Matka Peer and a gym owner.
Interacting with media here on Friday, Kejriwal said 106 people had applied for the seats, and 44 had been shortlisted by the candidate screening committee. The 12 finalists would be declared by June 15, he added.
"The objective was to ensure that these people were popular local faces and did not have criminal cases registered against them. We request the public to give us evidence against the shortlisted candidates," Kejriwal said.
He also said the party had collected Rs 2 crores through donations and had received 100 dollars from non-resident Indians (NRIs).
The candidates will participate in debates in their constituencies and will be elected by party volunteers, Kejriwal said, adding that even senior AAP members, including Sisodia and Ilmi could be voted out if other contenders from their constituency were more popular.
Kejriwal claimed that six chief minister candidates from BJP had approached him, asking for support for 'one candidate'. "They told me that if even one was declared CM, they would support me," he said without taking names. (ANI)