Kejriwal's AAP announces shortlist of 44 for Delhi polls

Preparing to face the electorate for the first time in the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls, social activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today announced the names of 44 candidates shortlisted for 12 constituencies.

"The final 12 would be selected on the recommendations of grassroots workers and the selection committee, after proper consultation and debate among them," AAP convener Kejriwal told reporters in New Delhi.

He said the candidates were selected by a candidate screening committee co-chaired by Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh.

Prominent among the shortlisted candidates are media personality and AAP member Shazia Ilmi for RK Puram and Sisodia himself for Patparganj.

Asked about funds in the party's war-chest, Kejriwal said, "We have received around Rs2 crore in the last two months through the internet; and anybody can visit our site to see the list of donors. We don't accept anonymous donations.''

"We had received a total of 106 applications from advocates, journalists, engineers, former defence officials, resident welfare associations' office bearers, social activists and supporters from other political parties like the Congress and the BJP," Kejriwal said.

He claimed one of the candidates was associated with Congress for 25 years while another was active in the Bharatiya Janata Party at divisional level.

He said the applicants for tickets were put through a full selection procedure including screening, interviews, verification that they had no criminal antecedents, and their popularity among locals.

"Our focus was to ensure that candidates do not have any criminal case against them, they are honest, have a clean image in the locality, and there are no two persons from the same family as we are against nepotism and dynastic politics," Kejriwal said.

In the last assembly election, the Congress and the BJP had fielded 19 candidates with criminal cases like kidnapping and murder against them, while the Bahujan Samaj Party had 15 such candidates, he said.