AAP to contest `maximum number of seats` in 2014 LS polls, Arvind Kejriwal not to fight
As the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday announced it will contest the "maximum number of seats" in the April-May Lok Sabha polls, party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ruled out his contesting the General Elections.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: As the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday announced it will contest the "maximum number of seats" in the April-May Lok Sabha polls, party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ruled out his contesting the General Elections.
"I am not contesting the Lok Sabha elections. Out of affection for me, Yogendra Yadav has said that," he told reporters when they asked him about Yadav`s remark that his dream is to see Kejriwal as Prime Minister.
Kejriwal said the politics of the day is not that who will be the PM. "Neither Rahul Gandhi nor Narendra Modi nor Arvind Kejriwal is important. The country`s politics is fight against inflation and corruption. People are fed up with these two malaise pervading the country."
Party leader Prashant Bhushan said AAP would field candidates in maximum number of states wherever "we have a reasonable (party) structure and get good candidates".
"We talked to our convenors. There is huge enthusiasm for the party in every state... We will try to declare the list of maximum candidates by mid-February or latest by the end of the month," he said.
Bhushan said once all nomination forms were received from the constituencies, they would be scrutinised by the parliamentary affairs committee and the best candidate would be fielded.
Asked if Kejriwal will be the prime ministerial candidate, Bhushan said he (Kejriwal) was the leader of the party but name of prime ministerial candidate had not been decided.
"It does not hold importance to us who will be our PM candidate," he said.
Yogendra Yadav had told media persons earlier that people should get a third option for the prime minister`s post in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
"People should get a third option to vote apart from (Congress vice president) Rahul Gandhi, and (Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate) Narendra Modi," he said, adding the meet was to determine the party`s stand on the general elections and if they can give the third option.
The party wanted Kejriwal to be the prime ministerial candidate from AAP, he added.
Another leader Sanjay Singh said "the first list of AAP candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be out in 10 to 15 days. The process which was followed during Delhi polls for selection of candidates will be followed in Lok Sabha also."
He said the party will contest elections from states where it has a reasonable structure and where it will find honest candidates.
"During the next one month, the party will hold meetings in every state to finalise the name of Lok Sabha candidates. Candidates facing criminal and corruption charges and questions on their moral character will not be given tickets," Singh added.
Singh, who is part of two-member sub-committee for Lok Sabha election of the party, said there`s excitement in states about the party`s prospects and a large number of people want to join AAP.
The party has already invited applications for the candidates wanting to contest Lok Sabha elections.
Apart from Delhi, key party functionaries from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana and Tamil Nadu are present for the national executive meeting.
Other than Kejriwal, his ministerial colleague Manish Sisodia, senior party members like Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Sanjay Singh, Anjali Damania and Mayank Gandhi were also present at the meet.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal Saturday refused to move into a five-bedroom government flat that was allotted to him here following criticism and demanded a smaller house instead for his family.
"I won`t shift to the five-bedroom duplex flat," he told media before the start of the party meet.
"I have received lots of messages and phone calls from people and some close relatives suggesting that I should not accept such a big accommodation," he said.
Kejriwal, who lives in Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh`s Ghaziabad adjoining Delhi, had been allotted two adjoining five-bedroom duplex flats in the heart of Delhi.