Arvind Kejriwal while in Goa campaigning for AAP for the Assembly polls of February 2017 made a very boastful and tall claim. Kejriwal said that his party, the AAP would cancel the ticket of any AAP candidate found in any wrongdoing even 24 hours before polls, AAP would leave a seat uncontested but not field tainted candidates!
What an outrageous lie by Kejriwal! Now let us see the real facts. AAP gave tickets to at least 23 candidates out of a total of 70 with criminal records in Delhi in the Assembly polls of February 2015- since out of the 67 winning MLAs, 23 had criminal cases on them. Many of them were later arrested as well for e.g. an MLA Jitender Singh Tomar who was made a minister was found to have a fake degree. AAP had defended him in this issue till the end, until when the degree was found fake.
Besides, AAP gave tickets to 11 such candidates who had to be arrested later on various charges as AAP MLAs in Delhi.
M Pushparayan was another candidate of AAP from Thoothukkudi constituency in Tamil Nadu with 380 criminal cases against him.
Arvind Kejriwal gave Lok Sabha tickets to people with 380 and 382 cases against them, and was talking of ‘clean candidates’ in Goa and had the audacity to claim that AAP will field only clean candidates!
Binayak Sen, a man who was convicted by both the trial court and the Chhattisgarh High Court for support to Naxals and given life imprisonment was a member of the Policy Group for Police Reforms of Aam Aadmi Party despite AAP knowing fully well that he was convicted by 2 courts.
AAP had fielded 78 candidates for the phase of LS polls held on 10 April 2014. 15 of the party’s 78 candidates or 19 per cent, had criminal cases on them.
AAP candidate Narendra Mohanty from Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat in Odisha had 28 criminal cases pending against him. Mohanty in his affidavit declared 28 cases against him. Of the 28 cases, three were murder, one was attempt to murder and one was dacoity with murder.
Till the first 6 phases of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls 44 (15 per cent) out of 291 fielded by AAP till then had criminal cases. Though this writer has not been able to find out the exact number of candidates with criminal cases of AAP, out of a total of 443 fielded by AAP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the number must have been close to 15% or so. It is well known that in public life often some cases get registered on people, but AAP fielded people with serious criminal charges, and numerous cases. (E.g. a man with 382 cases in Kanyakumari, another with 380 cases and one with 28 cases in Odisha.)
The AAP may claim here that the BJP and Congress too fielded candidates with criminal cases against them, but the BJP and Congress did not claim to field ‘no candidate with a single case against him’. BJP said that in public life cases get registered against people leading political agitations, which are different from personal cases of crime and corruption. AAP fielded people with serious charges of personal crimes- like dacoity, murder, attempt to murder and dacoity with murder.
Thus this claim of Kejriwal is extremely hollow and unsound, and by that claim Kejriwal himself will be unable to contest any election on an AAP ticket on his own issue of horse-trading.