ibnlive » India

Nov 24, 2013 at 03:30pm IST

Meet AAP candidates who were earlier associated with BJP, Congress

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party may have given tickets to newbies with hardly any political background in the Delhi elections. But many leaders earlier associated with the BJP and the Congress have also bagged party tickets, leading to an uproar among its cadre.

Debutant Arvind Kejriwal may be banking on beginner's luck, but he does know that if he wants the throne of Delhi, he needs the right soldiers in his army. Perhaps that's why besides the political novices in the form of auto drivers to RTI activists to former police constables, the party has also given tickets to several leaders and independent councilors earlier associated with the BJP and the Congress.

AAP candidate from Vikaspuri Mahinder Singh Yadav, a sitting counselor, had been the general secretary of the BJP's OBC cell for over 12 years. Dismissing allegations that due process was not followed during ticket distribution, Yadav says he was picked for his ability to win votes.

"I am the counselor here, I've worked in the area. People know me that's why Kejriwal gave me a ticket as he believes that I can win," Yadav said.

Vinod Kumar Binny, who won as an independent twice and was associated with the Congress for over three years has also got the AAP's ticket from the Lakshmi Nagar constituency. "I noticed AAP for 6 months, saw their work, understood their ideology and then decided to join them," Binny said.

Just like Binny, Gulab Singh, AAP's candidate from Matiala, who was with the BJP, also left the party to join Kejriwal. One of AAP's most controversial candidates is Desh Raj Raghav, who was being probed by the Lokayukta, opening AAP to an attack by the opposition.

"Every one in the opposition is corrupt, when the same people join them they are with them you are fine," said BJP leader Vijay Goel.

But the party insists otherwise. "Due procedure was followed to select all the candidates," said AAP leader Manish Sisodia.

Elections may be about political rhetorics, about new promises, about new hopes, but winnability is the sole criteria which brings parties to power and that's why Kejriwal is betting big on - a concoction of the old and the new.