Many of you might remember Arvind Kejriwal’s not-so promising entry in politics and his repetitive claim on various occasions with his tagline, “Hum rajneeti karne nahi rajneeti badalne aye hein.” Kejriwal- the man in whom youth of India saw their hero has undoubtedly changed the scenario of politics. You might be thinking, how? There are many reasons. But, the article will primarily focus on Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party’s recent list of candidates which consists of alleged rapists and criminals.
Most of the AAP’s candidates in Punjab are criminals
The Aam Aadmi Party, a few days back, announced 114 candidates for the polls for the 117-member legislative House of Punjab Assembly. Bhagwant Mann is the AAP’s CM candidate for the Punjab Assembly Elections 2022 and he will contest the polls from the Dhuri seat.
Although it does not come as a surprise, you might be disappointed to see the criminal background of the majority of the candidates.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal has alleged that 65 candidates in AAP’s proposed list have a criminal background. Sukhbir reported, “AAP has given tickets to 65 candidates with criminal backgrounds. All six seats in Ludhiana have been given to people with criminal backgrounds. It has even given a seat to Amit Rattan from Bathinda Rural after the latter was thrown out by the SAD on corruption charges.”
Reportedly, out of five candidates who have filed their nominations from Dera Bassi, four are facing criminal charges.
AAP’s legislator acquitted in a rape case
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Mohinder Goyal, who is a sitting MLA from the Rithala constituency is reportedly accused of raping a woman. The woman had alleged that “she was raped by the MLA when she went to see him regarding a pension issue.” She asserted that “she was intimidated by the MLA and his brother, who forced her to establish a physical relationship with him and sent her explicit clips.”
However, Goyal has been acquitted by the Delhi High Court. Along with Goyal, his brother too has been acquitted over the “benefit of the doubt.”
AAP admits the criminal records of its candidates in Goa
AAP is contesting 39 seats in Goa. It is supporting independent candidate Chandrakant Shetye in Bicholim as well. The party has openly declared that its candidates in Mandrem, Porvorim, Cumbharjua and Curchorem have cases lodged against them.
The party also attempted to whitewash the crimes as it claimed that the cases filed against their candidates are politically motivated.
When asked why the candidates with a criminal record have been nominated, the party justified by saying that “the social work carried out by the four holds them in good stead.”
Bhagwant Mann- the alcoholic CM candidate for AAP
Mann’s reputation as an alcoholic is not hidden. However, at an AAP rally in Barnala in 2019, Mann declared that in the “greater good of the masses”, he had decided to give up alcohol and that he had made the huge “sacrifice” in the “interest of Punjab.”
Due to alcoholism, the former comedian turned into a laughingstock. He has been at the centre of many controversies and goof-ups.
In January 2017, the lawmaker arrived at a party gathering in Bhatinda, visibly in a drunken condition. He did not get up onto the dais for a speech and instead spent the first five minutes blowing kisses at the audience. Suddenly, his legs started shaking and he collapsed on the stage.
Given the above instances, it is evident that Arvind Kejriwal led AAP is aiming at a ‘complete refurbishment’ of the political situation in the poll-bound states. But the party’s candidates with criminal records winning the elections seem highly unlikely. If somehow they manage to win, it would be interesting to see if their contribution will ensure the improvement of the law and order situation in their respective states.