The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) declared its sixth list for the Lok Sabha elections on Saturday, naming Shazia Ilmi as its candidate from Ghaziabad, and taking the total number of declared candidates to 242.
The list of 55 also names Soni Sori, who had joined the party recently, as its candidate from Bastar.
With Ilmi’s candidature, the party hopes to have capped the controversy that has surrounded the AAP leader after she tweeted that she “had never agreed” to contest against Congress President Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareilly.
Though party leaders had confirmed that she had refused the Rae Bareily offer, they insisted that this was only because Ilmi felt that she was not familiar with the constituency, and wanted to be near Delhi because of her daughter’s exams.
On Saturday, an exultant Ilmi said, “This is a big responsibility and a challenge and we are up for the task. I will take up the AAP cause in Ghaziabad.”
A month after she officially joined the party, the AAP has also given the Bastar ticket to Soni Sori. Sori had levelled allegations of torture by security personnel who had arrested her for her alleged links with Maoists in Chhatisgarh.
Around a month ago, Sori had confirmed to The Indian Express that she would contest the elections, and had said that she would fight for the cause of “tribals in the area”.
The list also names Kanchan Choudhary Bhattacharya, India’s first woman Director Genral of Police, who will fight from the Haridwar constituency. The list includes seats in 13 states and three union territories.