Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has given Lok Sabha tickets to two RTI activists from Gujarat, taking the number of candidates in the state to eight.
“Right To Information (RTI) activist Mehulkumar Patel from Navsari and environmental activist Govind Patel from Valsad are AAP candidates for the Lok Sabha elections,” party said while announcing the candidates on Saturday.
Patel (48), who has been the party member since its origin, said that AAP was the common man’s option at a time when the system has been paralysed.
“Since corruption is ingressed in the bureaucracy and the judiciary, we could revive the system through a third political alternative in the form of AAP,” he said, adding he had canceled his plans to settle down in the US after party gave ticket to him.
Patel said he supports Kejriwal, but was not in favour of Anna Hazare’s approach of initiating movements against the government establishment.
“The government remains indifferent to such movements like the one that Anna started against corruption. If you want to eradicate corruption, you must enter politics,” he said.
Valsad candidate Govind Patel (65) is an environmental activist and a former BJP worker who left the party in 1997 and remained apolitical, before he joined AAP two months ago.
“I have worked for Jan Sangh, which later came to be known as the BJP. But in 1997, I witnessed a huge corruption in that party. So I left the BJP,” Patel told PTI.
“When I came to know about AAP, I at once again decided to join active politics only to fight against corruption,” he said.
Patel has also led a movement against polluting units in Vapi town of Gujarat’s Valsad district.
“I have filed many petitions in the high court against polluting units in Vapi industrial town of Valsad district,” Patel said, adding he was associated with the forest rights movement of tribals and also led a movement against allotment of tribal land to industries.
“There is immense corruption in the tribal belt of South Gujarat. AAP is the only option to combat it,” Patel said.