Aam Admi Party (AAP) president Arvind Kejriwal has decided to contest the Delhi Assembly elections against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from the constituency where she would file nomination.
The electoral debut of the AAP and its president Arvind Kejriwal against the three-time CM is likely to give some headache to the Congress. Kejriwal came to limelight two years ago when he, along with social activist Anna Hazare, sat on fast in Delhi. After parting ways, he established his party last year, and this will be his first election.
The decision to challenge Dikshit in a direct contest was taken at the AAP meeting on Sunday. Kejriwal said he wanted to take on Dikshit as her government was corrupt. He also accused the BJP of always fielding a weak candidate against Dikshit.
The Aam Admi Party has evolved a system candidate has to collect 100 signatures to be chosen for the seat, and even the seat is decided by the party members.
The Delhi elections are scheduled for November where Dikshit will seek mandate for record fourth time. Her government has made development and building infrastructure as their main election plank.
Though Kejriwal has managed to catch eyeballs with his vocal opposition to corruption, it would be difficult to take on veteran politician Dikshit.
Kejriwal said, “Only the AAP can defeat the Congress in Delhi in the coming Assembly elections. The BJP and the Congress indulged in match-fixing in the last 15 years. The BJP is hand in glove with Dikshit. Hence, only the AAP can defeat the Congress in Delhi.” He also dared state BJP chief Vijay Goel to contest against him.
The AAP went on to ridicule the main Opposition BJP saying it has been out of power for the past 15 years so its name is already out of the political scenario of Delhi. “The BJP is out of Delhi’s political scene. And the AAP is the new entrant,” he said.
The AAP has decided to follow Dikshit wherever she goes. If she were to shift her constituency, Kejriwal too will file his nomination from there.
Dikshit had earlier defeated BJP candidate in the last three elections. In 1998, Kirti Azad, (now BJP MP) lost against her; in 2003, Kirti’s wife Poonam Azad contested unsuccessfully; while in the last 2008 election Vijay Jolly lost to her.