AAP releases first list of candidates, top guns missing

NEW DELHI (TIP): The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has repeated the line-up for the December 2013 Assembly polls while declaring nominees for 22 seats on November 13. Four former cabinet ministers, Somnath Bharti (Malviya Nagar), Girish Soni (Madipur), Satyendra Jain (Shakur Basti) and Saurabh Bhardwaj (Greater Kailash) feature in the AAP’s first list for the impending Assembly elections. But suspense still looms large over the party’s other popular faces. AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, who has shown his inclination to retain his New Delhi constituency, doesn’t feature in the party’s first list.

He had defeated former chief minister Sheila Dikshit in her home turf by a huge margin of over 25,000 votes. The first list also does not feature former cabinet minister Manish Sisodia (Patparganj) and Rakhi Birla (Mangolpuri). Political affairs committee (PAC) members Gopal Rai, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas and Yogendra Yadav and party candidates for Lok Sabha polls in Delhi, including state unit convenor Ashutosh, are also missing from the list of nominees. Sources in the party said that most of the PAC members and Lok Sabha nominees will not test the electoral waters.

Ashutosh who lost to the then chief minister nominee of BJP and the new Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan in Chandni Chowk is also planning to give the upcoming Assembly polls a miss. The party has fielded 12 former MLAs – including the four former ministers – from the same constituencies they had won last time. Without throwing up new names, AAP went for the same candidates while declaring candidates for the remaining 10 seats.

Among the ex-legislators, who have again been given tickets are Bharti (Malviya Nagar), Bhardwaj (Greater Kailash), Satyendra Jain (Shakur Basti), Girish Soni (Madipur), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Jagdeep (Harinagar), Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar), Vishesh Ravi (Karol Bagh), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), Bandana Kumari (Shalimar Bagh), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar) and Commando Surender (Delhi Cantt). The 11 candidates, who had unsuccessfully contested the Assembly elections in 2013 but given ticket again are Sandeep (Sultanpuri Majra), Anil Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar), Atul Gupta (Vishwas Nagar), Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri), Gulab Singh (Matiala), Vijendra Garg (Rajendra Nagar), Kapil Mishra (Karawal Nagar), Jitendra Tomar (Tri Nagar), N D Sharma (Bada-rp-ur) and Bhavna Gaur (Palam).The party said the candidates had lost by close margin or came second in the last Assembly polls.

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