AAP to contest 'maximum' Lok Sabha seats, Kejriwal not to fight
Giving shape to its national ambitions, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Saturday announced it will contest the "maximum number of seats" in the April-May Lok Sabha polls and most of its candidates were expected to be declared by February-end.
However, the party's popular face and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he will not fight the polls, soon after AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said that the party wanted him to be their prime ministerial candidate.
"I am not contesting the Lok Sabha elections," Kejriwal told media persons, adding that Yadav had made the remarks out of love for him.
Kejriwal and other senior leaders attended the meeting of the AAP's national executive that will end Sunday.
The AAP will contest Lok Sabha elections in most states and the first list was expected in about 15 days, leaders said.
Party leader Prashant Bhushan said AAP would field candidates in maximum number of states wherever "we have a reasonable (party) structure and get good candidates" .
"We talked to our convenors. There is huge enthusiasm for the party in every state... We will try to declare the list of maximum candidates by mid-February or latest by the end of the month," he said.
Bhushan said once all nomination forms were received from the constituencies, they would be scrutinised by the parliamentary affairs committee and the best candidate would be fielded.
Asked if Kejriwal will be the prime ministerial candidate, Bhushan said he (Kejriwal) was the leader of the party but name of prime ministerial candidate had not been decided.
"It does not hold importance to us who will be our PM candidate," he said.
Yogendra Yadav had told media persons earlier that people should get a third option for the prime minister's post in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
"People should get a third option to vote apart from (Congress vice president) Rahul Gandhi, and (Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate) Narendra Modi," he said, adding the meet was to determine the party's stand on the general elections and if they can give the third option.
The party wanted Kejriwal to be the prime ministerial candidate from AAP, he added.
Party leader Sanjay Singh, who addressed media along with Bhushan, said that the first list of AAP candidates was expected to be out in 10 to 15 days.
He said that the decision to enter the Lok Sabha battle had nothing to do with other political parties.
"We have made it clear that we have no alliance with the Congress in Delhi. We are not fighting elections to harm or benefit anyone," he said.
Sanjay Singh added that it made no difference whether the AAP decision harmed or benefited Modi or Rahul Gandhi.
"This is a initiative to bring the aam aadmi into power, as the other political parties have not shown an interest in working for the common people, despite being elected by them," he said.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal Saturday refused to move into a five-bedroom government flat that was allotted to him here following criticism and demanded a smaller house instead for his family.
"I won't shift to the five-bedroom duplex flat," he told media before the start of the party meet.
"I have received lots of messages and phone calls from people and some close relatives suggesting that I should not accept such a big accommodation," he said.
Kejriwal, who lives in Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad adjoining Delhi, had been allotted two adjoining five-bedroom duplex flats in the heart of Delhi.
He had said Friday that he would use one of them as his office.
His decision had sparked off widespread criticism that the AAP leader, who has always advocated simple living, was moving into a grand house.
(Posted on 04-01-2014)