Danseuse and Aam Aadmi Party member Mallika Sarabhai, who unsuccessfully contested against BJP patriarch L K Advani in 2009, does not want to enter the fray this time as she feels apparently ignored in the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. “No one from AAP has ever contacted me,” Mallika told PTI. When asked if she would contest as an Independent candidate if AAP denies her a ticket, Mallika replied in the negative. “No, I will not contest as an independent and I don’t want to contest at all,” she said.
Mallika, who was earlier associated with anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal movement, joined AAP on January 8. Soon after joining the party she criticised AAP leader Kumar Vishwas and asked the party leadership to spell out its stand on Vishwas’ comments on Narendra Modi. Mallika said she did not complain to Kejriwal about not being contacted. “I have not spoken to Arvind Kejriwal,” she said. An AAP worker, when contacted, said Mallika was kept out of Kejriwal’s recent “fact finding” tour of Gujarat.
“Kejriwal just had a brief meeting with Mallika Sarabhai at a book-release event which lasted for maximum two minutes,” he said on condition of anonymity. However, AAP state convener Sukhdev Patel dismissed the issue saying, “A party worker is never invited…He or she should get involved pro-actively,” he said. Mallika, however, clarified that she will continue to be with AAP and wants the party to succeed in polls. She also said she would campaign for AAP in the elections if the party wants her to.
Her aide and an RTI activist Bharatsinh Jhala said, “Mallika was the first among others to file an FIR in the Delhi Commonwealth Games corruption. She had also led a march to Assembly seeking justice for the families of hooch tragedy victims of the state.” AAP leaders of Gujarat unit need to understand her contribution to society, Jhala added.
However, Patel said, “We will welcome if she comes here and plays her role actively in AAP. Such questions should not arise if she wants to work for party’s progress,” he added. On Mallika’s reported criticism regarding party’s style of functioning, Patel said, “This is neither good for her and nor for the party if she makes such comments in open.”