AAP’s first list of candidates for Assembly elections in Telangana and the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh is out and the party has given tickets to those who otherwise usually keep off politics — visually impaired lawyer, autorickshaw drivers, IIM alumnus among others. The party has named 31 candidates for Telangana and 29 candidates for Seemandhra region, and the emphasis was on individuals involved in social work to “contribute to the society”.
Chandra Supriya, 37, is nominated for Malkajgiri which is dominated by Seemandhra people. She is the first woman visually challenged HC lawyer in South India. “The fact that a person like me has been given the opportunity to represent people itself speaks volumes of AAP. I have never lost a case in my 14 years career as a lawyer. I also do not take cases where prime facie I feel the person has done something wrong. Money is not important, justice is,” she says.
Gaddam Sridhar, the AAP candidate from Malakpet in Hyderabad, caused a traffic jam, literally, in Dilsukhnagar here after he was nominated by AAP. Sridhar is an auto-rickshaw driver and among his supporters who thronged the streets were graduates and engineering students who he used to pick up and drop when they were in schools. His friend and fellow auto-driver Venkatesh Goud is AAP candidate from Maheshwaram. “Many people ask us why we are not with TRS although we are staunch Telangana supporters. We see a ray of hope for the common man only in AAP,” says Goud.
Seedari Srinu, a tribal activist in mineral-rich Aaraku Valley, says, “We need one of our own to represent our problems — from illegal mining to deforestation. AAP decided to field one of us, that is me.”
AAP’s Secunderabad candidate is IIM-Kolkata alumnus Anita Rao Kiluru who has association with international corporates such as IBM, Google and Genpact as their knowledge partner. From a family with defence force background, she runs a chain of pre-schools in Hyderabad and Secunderabad and also works for women employment. “While door to door campaigning, I tell people that I don’t have anything in return of their votes, but I will always be approachable unlike other politicians,” she says.
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“We have broad representation across socio-economic categories for common people. This is in contrast with lists from other parties which are dominated by names from the politically dominant castes,” says Ramakrishnam Raju, state convenor of AAP.
Dalit social activist and singer Chandra Prakash, who penned and sung many songs for Telangana parties, including TRS, has been nominated by AAP from Ibrahimpatnam.