With the top leadership of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) now focussing only on the high-profile Varanasi and Amethi Lok Sabha seats, the party units in other parts of the region have virtually been left to fend for themselves.
Sample this: Adarsh Shastri and Shimla Shri —- the AAP candidates from Allahabad and Phulpur constituencies candidates, respectively —- had decided to file nominations on Wednesday and reached the offices of the respective electoral authorities along with their processions.
However, both had to return back as at least two of Shimla Shri’s guarantors failed to turn up in time, while in Shastri’s case, the prescribed forms could not be completed.
Both filed their nominations Thursday.
“My guarantors were out of station and met with an accident on their way back,” claimed Shimla Shri.
Shastri, who was earlier called upon to file nomination as a “cover” for AAP’s Lucknow candidate Jaaved Jaaferi, said: “Our procession took some time and our lawyer too got stuck in the jam. I decided to wait for another day, rather than risk committing mistakes in the forms.”
District convenor (Allahabad), Anjani Mishra, conceded that lack of experience and clear guidelines from the top led to such problems as “we are mostly first timers”. Mishra accepted that no attempts were made at the top level to educate them on the procedures. “We did not have any such programme. But we did talk to (UP in-charge and national spokesperson) Sanjay Singh. He admonished us for being casual in our approach,” Mishra added.
In neighbouring Kaushambi, the initial candidate, former Director General of the National Archives of India, had returned his ticket, alleging financial misappropriation by party’s local unit’s. He, too, had complained not being able to get through to the top leadership despite repeated efforts.
Gopal Singh from Ballia, who attended AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s public meeting on Tuesday in Varanasi, said: “We have worked hard for our candidate. But often, we are left to work out the things. There is no guidance from the top.” Many others from districts like Mirzapur and Bhadohi also had similar complaints.
Meanwhile, for AAP leadership, the Lok Sabha elections have now virtually become synonymous with Varanasi and Amethi.
Kejriwal has already underlined that he would be staying put in Varanasi, besides going to Amethi for five days to lend support to Kumar Vishwas and campaign against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi there.
Contacted, Sanjeev Singh, said: “The maximum focus would be on Varanasi and Amethi…Kejriwal may visit some of the other areas, but the schedule has not yet been planned.” He said that with most of the Purvanchal constituencies going to polls on May 12, scheduling Kejriwal’s visits to a large number of places may prove difficult.