IIMB grad, retired IAS officer among AAP candidates for 2018 polls

IIMB grad, retired IAS officer among AAP candidates for 2018 polls

Aeronautical engineer Santosh Nargund, retired IAS officer Renuka Viswanathan and urban expert Ashwin Mahesh are some of the prominent faces the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will field in the 2018 Assembly election.

The 2018  poll will mark AAP's debut in Karnataka's Assembly elections. The party contested in Karnataka, although unsuccessfully, in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.  

Nargund, 41, an Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore alumnus, will be the AAP candidate taking on BJP leader and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar from the Hubli-Dharwad (central) constituency. This will be his maiden electoral plunge.

"I decided to contest as an independent candidate, but AAP reached out to me and gave me a platform," said Nargund, who worked on the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, during his stint at the Aeronautical Development Agency.

"Two years ago, I resigned from my professional job and went back to Hubballi-Dharwad, which is my native. Shettar has been the MLA there for the past 28 years, and there's only dust and bad governance. I hope to change this," he said.

The party is keen on breaking ice in all 28 Assembly segments in Bengaluru. This is where the party plans to field former NASA scientist and urbanist Ashwin Mahesh, who had unsuccessfully contested from Bommanahalli
as a Loksatta candidate.

While BJP's Satish Reddy won with over 86,000 votes, Mahesh finished third with about 11,900 votes.  

1971-batch IAS officer Renuka Viswanathan, who worked in the Planning Commission and Finance Ministry before her retirement in 2008, is also on the AAP's list of candidates.

The party plans to field corporate leader Lingaraj Urs to take on Congress'
B A Basavaraj (Byrathi) in the KR Puram constituency. In fact, Urs became a gram panchayat member in 2015, after he won from ward 4 of the Kannamangala village in the Whitefield area. AAP Karnataka incharge Pankaj Gupta said the party had received "a huge response" in at least 20 districts.

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