AAP’s choice of Lok Sabha candidates and constituencies:

How sincere is Kejriwal about fighting the BJP?


Faraz Ahmad

 The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has released its list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, which is very revealing. Simultaneously Arvind Kejriwal announced in an interview with the Times of India that he has no intention of contesting against Narendra Modi. He said, “My first love is Delhi…I would want to contest assembly elections. I haven’t thought about contesting against Modi.”

 AAP’s choice of leaders to oppose in the first list, Kejriwal released and the constituencies he chose is telling an interesting story. It is mostly or almost all the constituencies where the BJP either had no hope in hell to win, like Amethi or faced a tough fight because of the consolidation of Muslims, OBCs and Dalits against the BJP.

 Take the case of TV journalist turned AAP spokesman Ashutosh, who will be contesting from Chandni Chowk. Whose vote he will cut into? Naturally Muslims who form the support base on whose strength Kapil Sibal has won two consecutive elections in 2004 and 2009, thus in turn aiding his erstwhile Sanghi brethren.

 The next targeted leader is Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed who returned to the Lok Sabha in 2009 after a gap of 13 years. Another TV journalist Mukul Tripathi has been set up against him from Khursheed’s home constituency Farrukhabad. Ever since the rise of BJP in 1989 this seat has mostly gone to the BJP, with Khursheed winning only in the tenth Lok Sabha.

 Moradabad has a strong and dominating Muslim presence and former Indian Cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin has already lost considerable shine. Some guy called Khalid Parvez will naturally vertically split the Muslim vote to facilitate the Modi brigade to bag Moradabad as well. Same will be the case in Rampur, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Sambhal, Bijnor and other nearby areas where Muslim presence makes a difference to the electoral fortunes.

 Poor Ajit Singh has not been in Government for long and so far we have not heard of any scandals against the scion of the great Charan Singh. Though Ajit has lost much of clout among jats, one expected them along with Muslims to consolidate behind Ajit Singh at least and in the process bring down the communal temperature in the area following the Muzaffarnagar carnage which left a gaping wound in the traditionally fraternal Jat-Muslim camaraderie, created by Charan Singh. The existing communal tension created by Amit Shah and Modi combine is naturally helping the BJP. The idea is to teach Ajit Singh a lesson for he ditched the BJP and went to the UPA post 2009 elections wherein Rajnath Singh won from Ghaziabad on the strength of Jat support.

 The only BJP leader targeted in this list is poor Nitin Gadkari who is already down and out and in fact seething with rage against Narendra Modi, L K Advani and Arun Jaitley who all got together with Ram Jethmalani to deny him a second term. Where and who are the AAP candidates against L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Amit Shah?

 There is this noticeable urgency in AAP to nail the Congress party, which is anyway on the way out, whereas just an occasional lip service, simply for record purposes against Modi or Mukesh Ambani and mind you not the BJP? Is it because, as K N Govindacharya indicated in his interview with the Economic Times, at the end of the day Kejriwal and his band have been groomed by Govind to discredit the Congress and OBC and Dalit leaders and promote Advani’s agenda? Let the Muslims, the OBCs and Dalits not get carried away this time by the Jhadu symbol and instead keep an eye on how sincere Kejriwal and his band is about fighting the BJP.





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