IN YET another embarrassing situation for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Adarsh Shastri was asked to file his nomination from Lucknow Lok Sabha seat as a “covering candidate” for Jaaved Jaaferi, due to apprehensions over Jaaferi’s nomination papers, or his candidature itself, later on.
Both the candidates filed their papers Wednesday. Shastri has already been announced as a party candidate from Allahabad and will be filing his nomination on April 16.
Sources said Jaaved claimed to have last voted in 2008 and recently enrolled himself as a voter from Sarojini Nagar in Mohanlalganj Lok Sabha constituency.
However, it is alleged that in his application form for enrolling as a voter he showed himself as a tenant in Sarojini Nagar for the past few months despite residing in Mumbai for that period.
Sources said fearing the allegations may later to snowball despite Jaaved’s nomination papers being ‘clean’, Adarsh was asked to file his papers too.
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Wednesday was the last day of filing nominations for constituencies falling under the fourth phase, which includes Lucknow. The scrutiny of forms for this phase will take place Thursday.
Meanwhile, party’s official stance was that it was merely utilising a provision. “This is nothing new, we just wanted to be sure we have a strong candidate against Rajnath Singh,” said AAP state spokesperson Sudhir Bhardwaj.
“During the Delhi’s Assembly polls last year, we had put up Manoj as a backup candidate for Gajanand in Bawana. After Gajanand’s nomination was rejected, Manoj fought the elections,” he said.
Apart from BJP president Rajnath Singh, incumbent MLA and former UP Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, SP’s Abhishek Mishra and BSP’s Nakul Dubey are also in the fray from the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.