Arvind Kejriwal not to contest Lok Sabha elections
New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS): Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Saturday he would not contest the April-May Lok Sabha elections.
"I am not contesting the Lok Sabha elections," Kejriwal told mediapersons.
The rresponse came after a senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Yogendra Yadav, earlier in the day said he wanted to see Kejriwal as the prime minister of the country.
Kejriwal said Yadav's statement was out of love for him.
The AAP Saturday announced it would attempt to contest as many seats as possible for the general elections this year, and a final list of candidates would be released by Feb 15.
AAP to contest 'maximum' seats in most states in Lok Sabha poll
New Delhi, Jan 4 (PTI): Outlining its national ambitions, AAP today announced it will contest "maximum" number of seats in most states in upcoming Lok Sabha polls and the first list of its candidates will be out in the next 10-15 days.
However, amidst talk that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is its Prime Ministerial nominee, the party made it clear that the decision on it willbe taken after the results, senior leader Prashant Bhushan told reporters in between a two-day meeting of the National Executive of the party here.
Kejriwal and all the top leaders attended the meeting that will conclude tomorrow.
"AAP will contest Lok Sabha Elections in most states and in the maximum number of seats. We will try to declare the list of maximum candidates by mid-February or latest by the end of next month," he said.
Asked whether Kejriwal will be declared the PM candidate, he said this issue was not to be decided today.
"Arvind Kejriwal is the supreme leader of the party but we have not decided on the name of our Prime Ministerial candidate. It does not hold importance to us who will be our PM candidate," said Bhushan.
Another leader Sanjay Singh said "the first list of AAP candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be out in 10 to 15 days. The process which was followed during Delhi polls for selection of candidates will be followed in Lok Sabha also."
He said the party will contest elections from states where it has a reasonable structure and where it will find honest candidates.
"During the next one month, the party will hold meetings in every state to finalise the name of Lok Sabha candidates. Candidates facing criminal and corruption charges and questions on their moral character will not be given tickets," Singh added.
Singh said that like Delhi assembly elections, the party will have separate manifestos for each constituency for Lok Sabha elections.
Responding to a query on whether AAP will cut into BJPís urban votes and damage Narendra Modiís Prime Ministerial aspirations, Singh said the party has emerged as an alternative to Congress and BJP and it is not contesting election to "benefit" or "hurt" any party.
"Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi are not poll issues for us, we are here to eradicate the problems of the people," Singh added.
"People in rural areas are as excited about AAP as those in urban areas. There are places were people in villages are even more excited," Bhushan said.
Bhushan added that people now want an alternative to Congress and BJP and AAP is a people's movement, not just a political party.
"AAP believes that the government should run as per the wishes of the people," he added.Singh, who is part of two-member sub-committee for Lok Sabha election of the party, said there's excitement in states about the party's prospects and a large number of people want to join AAP.
The party has already invited applications for the candidates wanting to contest Lok Sabha elections.
Apart from Delhi, key party functionaries from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana and Tamil Nadu are present for the national executive meeting.
Other than Kejriwal, his ministerial colleague Manish Sisodia, senior party members like Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan, Sanjay Singh, Anjali Damania and Mayank Gandhi were also present at the meet.