Aam Aadmi Party to field dozens of candidates in general election

NEW DELHI Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:36pm IST

1 of 6. Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, chief of the Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party (AAP), speaks during an interview with Reuters at his residence on the outskirts of New Delhi January 27, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The young anti-graft party that stormed to power in the national capital last month plans to field at least 73 candidates in Lok Sabha elections due by May to stand against politicians accused of crimes, its founder said on Monday.

Following its strong performance in Delhi, interest in the year-old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has surged. Since an announcement earlier this month that it would contest the general election, its membership has passed 10 million.

Until now the party had not said how many of the 543 lower house parliamentary seats it might contest in an election pitting the centre-left governing coalition against front runner opposition candidate Narendra Modi.

While polls suggest the debutant party is unlikely to win more than a dozen or so seats, its success in Delhi has shaken up the national race, with Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress party both aping Aam Aadmi's anti-elite, anti-corruption language.

Even a small clutch of seats for the AAP could be enough to deny Modi a chance at forming a government, and give AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal a say in national policy.

The AAP will put up candidates in constituencies of 73 members of parliament who face serious criminal charges. Candidates will also stand for the seats of central government ministers which the party believes are corrupt, Kejriwal said in an interview with Reuters.

"The most important thing is there are a large number of cabinet ministers who have indulged in corruption, they need to be defeated," Kejriwal said.

"There are nearly 162 people in Lok Sabha who have criminal charges against them and there are 73 out of them who have serious charges against them. They need to be defeated, we will put up strong candidates against them," said Kejriwal, who was sworn in as the head of Delhi's city government on December 28.

He did not say how many, or which, government ministers would be a target.

Voters are notorious for rewarding candidates with criminal accusations against them. Politicians accused of crimes had a higher success rate than others in the last parliamentary election in 2009.

"It is for the people to decide if they want to support clean politics or not. Earlier the people used to say they didn't have an option, now we will provide them with a clean option," Kejriwal said.

The AAP is expected to also field national election candidates in constituencies in New Delhi and in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Popularity Poll

Reuters Showcase

'Small Incident'

Arun Jaitley stirs anger by making light of Delhi rape case.  Full Article 

Arrested Again

Arrested Again

Hunger striking activist Irom Sharmila re-arrested - police.  Full Article 

Drop By Drop

Drop By Drop

Kerala, India's wettest state, to go dry - in 10 years.  Full Article 

New Adviser

New Adviser

Arvind Subramanian likely to be chief econ adviser.  Full Article 

South Asia in Photos

South Asia in Photos

First pictures of Taj Mahal to ‘Hairy family of Burma’: subcontinent photos from 1850-1910.  Full Article 

Day of Mourning

Day of Mourning

Malaysia mourns as bodies of MH17 victims finally come home.  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Moscow defies Kiev, orders aid convoy onto Ukrainian soil.  Full Article 

Film Review

Film Review

‘Katiyabaaz’ turns banal reality into gripping tale.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage