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AAP fast-tracks selection of candidates for LS polls

The AAP is expected to field candidates in at least 22 states.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 1, 2014 11:27:43 pm

With the Lok Sabha polls just five months away,the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to fast-forward its candidate-selection process. Following a meeting of the AAP’s political affairs committee (PAC) within two weeks,the party will announce the names and the number of Lok Sabha seats in which the AAP will field candidates,party leaders said.

“There is not enough time to follow the candidate selection procedure as laid down by the party during the Delhi Assembly elections. We don’t have time to go through several rounds of screening like we did for the Delhi elections — we won’t be putting the list of shortlisted names on the website. In less than 15 days,a meeting of the political affairs committee will be held on the issue,” senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.

Elaborating on the nature of the candidate-selection process for Lok Sabha polls,Singh said,“There are two ways in which we are deciding candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. People are approaching us — either downloading the form from our website or visiting our district and state-level offices to submit their applications.”

Moreover,the AAP has also constituted committees to identify prospective candidates for the upcoming general elections in the country. Singh emphasised that only such candidates who stand by the party’s values and beliefs will be considered by the PAC.

While the AAP is expected to field candidates in at least 22 states,states such as Jammu and Kashmir,Andhra Pradesh,West Bengal and Northeast states might not see AAP faces in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Some states have a strong party presence while others like Jammu & Kashmir,Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal do not have a strong party unit. We are strengthening the existing state units,” Singh said.

He also said that the party will focus on Lok Sabha seats in urban areas. “We will concentrate on urban areas but reserved seats will also be contested,” Singh said.

While corruption,inflated electricity and water bills dominated the party’s agenda for the Delhi polls,the AAP’s national campaign will feature issues such as farmers’ issues,land acquisition,taxation,inflation,corruption and education. “A manifesto committee for the general elections has been formed and they have started work on it. Issues like corruption,inflation,farmer issues,land acquisition,VAT and how traders face difficulties due to VAT,the series of private universities which are exploiting students — all these issues will govern our national campaign,” Singh said.

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