The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) newly announced candidate from Moradabad seat Khalid Parveiz is facing internal opposition led by party’s Rohilkhand zonal convenor Vishal Sharma. On Monday, Sharma led a delegation of party workers and other aspirants from Moradabad Lok Sabha constituency for a meeting with AAP leader Sanjay Singh in New Delhi.
“Our biggest complaint is with the process and the manner in which Khalid was chosen,” Sharma said. “Despite the stated procedure, neither the district nor the zonal committees were consulted regarding his application and he just parachuted right in the middle. How can the party select such an opportunist person, with cases against him, who has been roaming the political corridors with Rs 50 lakh in lieu of a Lok Sabha ticket, who runs colleges like an education mafia,” alleged Sharma.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh told The Indian Express that he “heard their complaint, but can’t take a decision on my own”. “The matter will be put before the PAC (Political Affairs Committee).”
Leading a delegation of district conveners and others, aspirants from Moradabad, Sharma and Sanjay Singh had an ‘open’ meeting where over 200 party workers were present. “This (announcement) reeks of the same ‘high command’ structure against which AAP had been protesting for long; this is not why Arvind Kejriwal came to power (in Delhi),” Sharma said.
Khalid, meanwhile, played down the protests saying that “whatever I am doing is for the party only.” Khalid, who has businesses of beedi, confectionery, real estate, education, owns cold-storages and has also acted in films including Mithun Chakraborty starrer Qatal-E-Aam (2005), said that they (the protestors) are going through their first elections and hence behaving like that. Asserting his “high-profile,” he said has been a social worker for long and that a party needs a strong candidate at the end of the day. He also claimed that Samajwadi Party had promised him a ticket from Moradabad but instead gave it to S T Hasan.
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“I have direct contact with Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav. They said they will make me general secretary and give me a red beacon yet they backtracked,” said Khalid, who contested from Budaun assembly seat on a BSP ticket in 2007 and stood third.