“There were a lot of complaints about the kind of candidates selected, especially those who had been para-dropped into the party recently. Some of them were referred to the party Lokpal, who recommended the removal of two candidates,” says Prashant Bhushan.
Has Arvind Kejriwal strayed from his path in his desperation to get the magic number to be the next chief minister? AAP’s founder- member Shanti Bhushan said yes and asserted that he should be replaced as party president soon after the Delhi assembly elections. Apparently his son and AAP’s national executive member Prashant Bhushan is also at odds with Kejriwal, as he had submitted a list of 12 AAP candidates with dubious reputation. The list was submitted to AAP’s Lokpal, Admiral (retd) Laxminarayan Ramdas, and it was asserted that they should be removed from the party, if the charges are right. “There were a lot of complaints about the kind of candidates selected, especially those who had been para-dropped into the party recently. Some of them were referred to the party Lokpal, who recommended the removal of two candidates,” says Prashant Bhushan. The Lokpal replaced two candidates — Govardhan Singh with Naresh Yadav in Mehrauli and Rajindar Dabas with Sukhbir Dalal in Mundka. AAP charged Singh with indulging in anti-party activities and being close to the BJP. Recent posters show him welcoming Amit Shah in Haryana. Dabas is an accused in an abetment to suicide case, of one Raj Singh Kataria, brother of AAP volunteer Kartar Singh Kartaria. Dabas was named in the suicide note. A dna team went to the field for two days to find out if the charges are right against the remaining 10 AAP candidates. Evidence found against them and their continued presence in the party suggest that Kejriwal, despite statements to the media, compromised his party ideology by choosing these candidates. Like career politicians, he comes across more desperate to win. In his jan sabhas, Kejriwal has asked people to ensure that AAP gets a full majority and they shouldn’t let it fall short by a few seats once more. These 10 candidates, most in outer Delhi rural areas, seem to have been picked for ensuring those seats, with their money and brute force. Most have joined AAP recently from other parties. Some of the charges include criminal intimidation, rioting, defacement of property and property disputes. In many cases, AAP volunteers had filed FIRs and complaints against some of these candidates contesting as BJP or BSP candidates in 2013. They are now contesting on AAP tickets. AAP core committee member and head-hunter for candidates Sanjay Singh admits that 12 names were submitted by Bhushan. Singh says when deciding suitable candidates, the party looks for criminal cases, corruption cases and problems in character. In case of Amanatullah Khan, it has been an official stand of AAP, including that of Arvind Kejriwal, that it was Amanatullah who was responsible for releasing a controversial communal poster. In fact, Kejriwal had even Tweeted regarding the incident, a complaint filed with the Lokpal reads. On conditions of anonymity, a number of AAP volunteers spoke about how disturbed they are with this criminal and corrupt elements in the party. One even cautioned dna reporters to stay away from Sahi Ram, commonly known as the dabangg of his area. Bhavna Gaur, the candidate from Palam, has been accused of misappropriating Rs 6 lakh from AAP’s campaign funds, given to her by AAP candidate from Bijwasan, Col Devendra Sehrawat. She has also been fined by the Delhi District Court in a land-grabbing case, where she tried to capture the house of one Prem Lata, her own friend. Pramila Tokas, the candidate from RK Puram, a sitting BSP councillor from Munirka, has been accused in an FIR, along with her husband Dheeraj Tokas, also a BSP member, of assaulting a scheduled caste woman. Dheeraj Tokas was also one of the men to call a Khap Panchayat in Munirka, which ordered the eviction of North-Eastern tenants from the area. This was after the rape of a minor Manipuri girl, residing in Munirka. Dheeraj had contested the 2013 assembly election from theseat on a BSP ticket. The couple own several houses and apartments in Delhi worth over Rs 73 crore. AAP candidate from Chattarpur, Kartar Singh Tanwar, has declared ownership of high-end SUVs. Tanwar is a municipal corporation chairman from the BJP. He rose from a junior engineer to become a man worth over Rs 1,000 crore and was reportedly part of a builder mafia in outer Delhi villages. Complaints have been filed against him with CVC, Lok Ayukta and CBI. The Congress and the BJP candidates of Tughlakabad area fear campaigning with Sahi Ram Pehlwan around. Formerly with the BSP, AAP’s candidate here is using both his men and muscle power to win the election. The rest stay at arm’s length. In his affidavit, Pehlwan has mentioned having two FIRs lodged against him. But documents with dna reveal that he has four FIRs against him in cases related to criminal intimidation, rioting, armed with deadly weapons, assault or criminal force to deter public servants, etc. AAP volunteers had also complained to the party that he had rigged the internal election for choosing the candidate from the area. AAP candidate from Badli, Ajesh Yadav, was the BSP candidate in 2008 assembly elections. He had campaigned for Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and was the polling agent for Krishna Tirath of the Congress in Delhi. He is a real-estate king owning banquet halls, farm houses and properties worth hundreds of crores. He has 10 apartments in Dwarka and Rohini alone. His brother is facing kidnapping charges in a FIR registered with a local police station. Other tainted AAP candidates listed are Sharad Chauhan from Narela constituency, Ved Prakash from Bawana, Haji Yunus from Mustafabad and Haji Ishraq Ahmad from Seelampur. All of them were recently inducted into the party and are embroiled in property disputes, grabbing cases and theft.