20 reasons for AAP choices

Dipankar Ghose looks at what drove the selection of the party’s first batch of candidates.

New Delhi | Published: February 18, 2014 12:46:12 am
AAP candidates;  Jarnail Singh West Delhi, vs Mahabal Mishra (L) and Meera Sanyal Mumbai South, vs Milind Deora (R) AAP candidates; Jarnail Singh
West Delhi, vs Mahabal Mishra (L) and Meera Sanyal
Mumbai South, vs Milind Deora (R)


Jarnail Singh
West Delhi, vs Mahabal Mishra
The man who threw a shoe at then home minister P Chidambaram in 2009. He is being fielded in West Delhi because of its Sikh population and colonies for refugees from the 1984 riots, a cause he has frequently taken up. The former journalist is a known name in the constituency because of his social work and protests over the lack of relief to riot victims.

H S Phoolka
Ludhiana, vs Manish Tewari
A lawyer who has been handling cases on the 1984 riots. This is what prompted his selection. He is from the Bhadaur royal family, was born in neighbouring Barnala and graduated from Ludhiana, where he runs initiatives such as free coaching for engineering and medical entrances. “I was given the option of either Amritsar or Ludhiana; I chose Ludhiana because my roots are here,” he said.



Chandni Chowk, vs Kapil Sibal
The party believes Ashutosh has a public stature that can match that of Sibal, who has made Arvind Kejriwal’s list of most corrupt politicians. His image is of a straight-shooting journalist, built over several years as managing editor of IBN7. Author of Anna: 13 days that awakened India, Ashutosh is now one of the AAP’s chief spokespersons to the media.

Mukul Tripathi
Farrukhabad, vs Salman Khurshid
The third journalist-turned-candidate along with Jarnail and Ashutosh, Tripathi has already challenged Khurshid with protests when corruption was alleged in the latter’s Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust. He has a physical disability, which makes his candidature symbolic. For his various campaigns for the physically impaired, he won the Shreshth Viklang Karmi Award in 2009.


Medha Patkar
Mumbai Northeast, vs S D Patil (NCP)
The founder of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, winner of many international awards, is popular enough a figure for the party to expect her to unite the urban and rural votes in the Mumbai seat, where she has worked in slum areas.

Alok Agarwal
Khandwa, vs Arun Yadav (Cong)
An old aide of Patkar, now leading the Narmada Bachao Andolan in MP. Chosen because of mass appeal and the support he enjoys from various NGOs. Agarwal, 46, a graduate from IIT Kanpur, taught Dalit students before joining the movement in 1990.

Subhash Ware
Pune, vs Suresh Kalmadi
The AAP seen him as an anithesis to Kalmadi, who faces a number of corruption charges, while Ware is a popular anti-corruption campaigner. He is a former Maharashtra president of the Chhatra Bharati movement.

Soumendra Dhaka
Baghpat, vs Ajit Singh
A former president of the Baghpat Bar Association, he has taken up the cause of farmers, an influential section of voters. He was once a loyalist of Ajit Singh, whom he will now challenge on the ground that Baghpat remains underdeveloped despite Singh being a minister.

Bargarh, vs Sanjay Bhoi (Cong)
A powerful leader of farmers and tribals in the region, he contested the assembly polls in 2004 and 2009 as an independent, campaigning on a bicycle. He was closely associated with the late Kishen Pattanayak, and a former national president of the later’s Samajwadi Jan Parishad, in which Yogendra Yadav too was involved. Lingaraj was so inspired by Pattanayak as an M Phil student at JNU in the 1980s that he tore up all his academic certificates.

Khalid Parvez
Moradabad, vs Md Azharuddin
A known face who has campaigned for education in crime-hit Moradabad, he is the grassroots worker who will challenge an MP facing anti-incumbency.

Yogesh Dahiya
Saharanpur, vs Jagdish Rana (BSP)
Has worked extensively for the cause of sugarcane farmers, a potentially decisive vote bank, and fought legal battles along the way. A member of the AAP national executive, he is seen as close to party leader Sanjay Singh.

Bureaucrats & execs

Baba Hardev Singh
Mainpuri, vs Mulayam Sngh Yadav
The former bureaucrat has an image of being tough on corruption, and Kejriwal has repeatedly called Mulayam corrupt. Formerly in Provincial Civil Services, he retired as an IAS officer and went on to become RLD general secretary-in-charge of UP. He left the RLD because, AAP says, he was “not allowed to bring change”.

Dr Jiyalal
Lalganj, vs Bali Ram (SP)
The former senior principal scientist with the National Institute of Oceanography is a known name in Lalganj. In a seat reserved for SCs, he will campaign on education and the party hopes he will be able “to make people dream”. He has been awarded for his work by the Maharashtra government; the AAP says he was also part of an expedition to the South Pole in 1989.

Meera Sanyal
Mumbai South, vs Milind Deora
She is one of the party’s key faces for wooing the corporate sector, having been CEO and chairperson of the Royal Bank of Scotland before she quit to join politics. She has contested Lok Sabha elections previously too. Has a clean, idealistic image and worked with children and disadvantaged communities in Mumbai.

Habung Payeng
Arunachal West, vs T Sanjoy (Cong)
Payeng, 56, has a clean image over a chequered career that has made him a well-known name across his state. An activist since his schooldays and one of the state’s most senior bureaucrats, the national executive member is a key face of the party in the Northeast. An MA in economics and M Phil from JNU, he began as a newsreader in AIR Delhi, launched a weekly at home, taught in college, researched tribal customs, pioneered a consumer movement, became a spokesperson for the Arunachal Congress and then one of the state’s four information commissioners, before quitting to join politics.

Vijay Pandhare
Nashik, vs Sameer Bhujbal (NCP)
An engineer, former bureaucrat and member of Maharashtra’s technical advisory committee on irrigation, he questioned irregularities in the use of public funds in 2013, leading to the resignation of Ajit Pawar as irrigation minister. The whistleblower image fits into the scheme of things of a party projecting itself as a clean alternative.


Kumar Vishwas
Amethi, vs Rahul Gandhi
A poet popular among the youth, being projected as the AAP’s youth leader against that of the Congress. Rahul has been canvassing across the country; Vishwas has parked himself in Amethi for the past two months. The former college teacher is one of the faces of the party’s Janlokpal movement.

Anjali Damania
Nagpur, vs Nitin Gadkari
AAP convener in Maharashtra, she is seen by the party as a whistleblower who accused Gadkari of being complicit in a scam of Rs 70,000 crore she alleged in the NCP-led irrigation department. Popular among volunteers across the state.

Yogendra Yadav
Gurgaon, vs Rao Inderjit Singh
It was a question of when rather than if. Hailing from Rewari, Yadav will look to connect with urban voters in densely populated Gurgaon. If he wins, the AAP sees him as a calming influence in the Lok Sabha. The party’s chief spokesperson, its face in Haryana, he is a senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, and has been part of the National Advisory Council.

Mayank Gandhi
Mumbai Northwest, vs Gurudas Kamat
He built the India Against Corruption and the Aam Aadmi Party in Mumbai from the ground up, is the party’s most influential voice in Maharashtra, and has spearheaded the Lok Sabha campaign there. Part of the team that drafted the Nagar Raj Bill and a member of the party’s national executive.

With ENS inputs from various centres.

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