The Swaraj India Tuesday became the first political outfit to announce its first list of candidates for the forthcoming Haryana Assembly polls, releasing a set of 10 names that include women, social activists and lawyers.
Party founder Yogendra Yadav said all 10 candidates come from “simple and ordinary families” and are committed to public welfare. “They are self made activists with a vision to bring change and not a single candidate is related to any established political lineage,” Yadav, who hails from Rewari in Haryana, said
“The idea behind forming the party and contesting the election is to give honest and good political representatives (an opportunity)… who do not run after money, but are honest and committed workers,” he said , adding will not contest the assembly polls and instead work for the success of his candidates.
Yadav was candid about his party’s chances of winning the election. “We do not want to make tall claims of winning, but want to give a strong and good opposition, where we find there is a vacuum in the state today,” he said, adding his party will not enter into an alliance with any party.
Replying to a question, Yadav said eight of the 10 candidates named today have Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) backgrounds, a party which he too was a part of earlier. “We have said that we will welcome good people who are still associated with the AAP to join us, but we are not going to force anyone. We have also said that we do not need ‘kuchra’ (dirt) from that party,” he said.
“We are not going into the business of number of seats. We do not have the money to win the election, but we have the character and courage needed to fight the polls. And rest is upto the people,” he said, when asked on how many seats the party was expecting to win.
The outfit has fielded Rewari zila parishad chairperson Manju Bala from Rewari Assembly constituency while social activist Virender Singh Bhagoria, who had led the agitation over gangrape of a Dalit girl in Hisar, has been named from Nalwa.
Sanjeev Godara, who is leading an agitation against the mining mafia and overloading of vehicles in Charkhi Dadri district will contest from Dadri constituency, while a leader of Safai Karamcharis, Advocate Deepak, is party’s nominee for Pataudi constituency in Gurgaon district.
Jai Kisan Andolan’s Haryana state unit president Yudhvir Ahlawat will contest from Tosham (Bhiwani) while Rajender Yadav, an engineer who has been instrumental in encouraging farmers to opt for micro irrigation, is Swaraj India’s choice for Bhiwani Assembly seat.
A businesswoman Shelja Bhatia, who is trying to provide employment opportunities to women in backward areas of Mewat, will contest from Gurgaon while Lokpal movement activist Promila Saharan has been fielded from Kalayat (Kaithal). Social activist Chaman Lal will be party candidate from Sadaura (Yamunanagar).
Swaraj India state unit president Rajiv Godara said that they had promised one third of seats to the women and have thus included three women in its first list of 10 candidates.
Yadav said Joginder Singh Toor, a noted advocate of Punjab and Haryana High Court, will be their Lokpal.
He said Swaraj India is the only party in the country to appoint a Lokpal for the careful selection of candidates. “If any complaint is received against our candidate regarding corruption, character, criminality, communalism, it will not be probed by our party or screening committee, but by the Lokpal, who will not be a member of our party. We will ourselves appeal the people not to vote for our candidate even if a complaint comes barely 24 hours before the polls and if the Lokpal finds any truth in it,” he said.
Yadav claimed the law and order situation in Haryana has worsened under BJP rule. He said distressed farmers were waiting for justice and hike in minimum support price. “The youth are jobless and Haryana is among those states where unemployment rate is quite high,” he said.