Arvind Kejriwal to fight one seat, against Narendra Modi


GSR-21NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal will, after all, not contest from two seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced its fourth list on Monday pitting investigative journalist Ashish Khetan against Congress MP Ajay Maken from New Delhi constituency, a seat rumoured to be reserved for the anti-graft activist-turned-politician. With this, the party has now announced candidates for all seven seats in Delhi.

While this move rules out all possibility of Kejriwal fighting elections from a “safe” seat, it also strengthens the theory that he could contest against BJP’s PM Narendra Modi anywhere outside the state.

According to AAP leaders who spoke to ET on the condition on anonymity, the party’s political advisory committee, or PAC, comprising senior founder members, is keen on a Kejriwal-versus-Modi battle, but is waiting for BJP to decide the latter’s candidature. Recently at a rally in Kanpur, senior leader Manish Sisodia had indicated that the former Delhi CM could fight from Varanasi if Modi were to contest from there. 

Modi’s constituency has been a matter of much speculation. Varanasi, UP and East Ahmedabad, Gujarat have been mentioned. “If AAP has to be seen as a serious contender then Arvind (Kejriwal) cannot appear to be playing safe by contesting from two seats. He’ll have to take on Modi just like he did with Sheila Dikshit at the time of Delhi elections,” said a senior AAP leader.

“The party’s decision to not field any sitting Delhi MLA for Lok Sabha still stands, but as far as Arvind is concerned the PAC will have the last word,” party’s media advisor to Kejriwal told ET.