Desertions dent AAP hopes in Uttar Pradesh

Desertions dent AAP hopes in Uttar Pradesh

The Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) hope to make a dent in the vote-bank of mainstream political parties in Uttar Pradesh appears to have suffered a serious setback, with several party candidates choosing to abandon the electoral battlefield midway citing one reason or the other.

Over the past few days, as many as eight AAP candidates from different Lok Sabha constituencies in the state have returned their tickets to the party leadership; in most cases, non-cooperation by the local leadership and indifferent attitude of senior leaders have been cited as the reasons.

The latest in the list is the AAP's Farrukhabad candidate Mukul Tripathi, a differently abled journalist who had resolved to take on Union Minister Salman Khurshid, the constituency's sitting MP.

Tripathi, who also resigned from the AAP itself, alleged that party leaders at local level had not been cooperating with him at all. The AAP had claimed that it had 50,000 workers at Farrukhabad, but could only give a few hundred contact numbers.

Abhilasha Jatav, the party candidate from Jalaun, has also returned her ticket, alleging that she had been humiliated by AAP workers as she did not have money to contest the election. Abhilasha had made it clear to the party leadership beforehand that she did not have the resources to fight the polls.

The AAP’s man from Faizabad, Iqbal Mustafa, had also returned his ticket a few days ago. The party's candidate from Sambhal too had withdrawn after filing nomination papers, causing huge embarrassment to the party.

The AAP's decision to field film actor Jaaved Jaaferi from Lucknow has also evoked sharp criticism from party leaders here. “What was the need for conducting the drama (interview) if tickets were to be distributed in this fashion?” asked an AAP leader here.

The party had conducted interviews of over a thousand ticket aspirants from UP. The leaders said the party had received around 1,200 applications in all for 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It was not clear if the party would field its candidates on all the seats, or would concentrate only on the important ones.

Riding high on its spectacular debut performance in the Delhi Assembly elections, the AAP nurtures hopes of doing well in the state in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

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