Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 9: A set of popular faces, from a writer to former civil servant, are to be the candidates of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Kerala in the Lok Sabha polls.
When the mainstream political parties are yet to finalise their candidates, the AAP state unit has already declared contestants in two seats and published the names of short listed aspirants in six others. AAP sources said they are planning to contest in as much as seats they can, provided they get suitable candidates.
Kendra Sahithaya Akademi award winning writer Sarah Joseph will contest from Thrissur while former civil servant Ajit Joy, who quit his assignment with UN for joining AAP, will seek his luck from Thiruvananthapuram. Noted journalist Anita Pratap and human rights activist D B Binu are also in the list of probables of the fledgling party.
Though the electoral scene of Kerala has for long been dominated by CPI(M) and Congress, AAP leaders sounded confident of repeating their ‘broomstick magic’ in Kerala after its victory in the national capital.
The candidates have been shortlisted after a screening and interview by an expert panel. Though the innovative selection process irked some quarters, AAP leaders said it would help them to get a cream of good candidates.
“We are contesting not for victory or to fulfil parliamentary dreams but to provide an alternative platform for frustrated people here. And if any of our candidates win, that will be a bonus for us,” AAP state convener Manoj Padmanabhan told PTI.
“We would like to act as a corrective force in the democratic system. So we are trying to select as much as acceptable and educated candidates from among common men,” he said.
Padmanabhan said they got the applications ranging from that of retired judges to auto drivers to contest under the label of AAP.
“We give prominance to the educational background and social acceptance of the applicants. Only qualified candidates could be good administrators and can present people’s issues in a house like Lok Sabha,” he said, adding, that a complete list of candidates could be announced by this week end.
The party would try to use only biodegradable and nature-friendly material for poll campaigns. Social networking platforms and other modern techniques would be exploited to reach to maximum number of people. Door-to-door campaigns would also be conducted, he said.
“We expect Arvind Kejriwal to come to the state as part of campaign after finalising the candidate list. But, we have not recieved any official confirmation on it,” Padmanabhan said.