Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s chief minister and leader of the Aam Admi (Common Man’s) Party, has listed out several Indian top politicians as corrupt.
Addressing the national executive of the party, Kejriwal on Friday named Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice-president and chief poll campaigner, and Narendra Modi, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, among those he believed were dishonest.
Others included in his list were several federal ministers such as Sharad Pawar, P Chidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Praful Patel, and prominent regional leaders like Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, H D Kumaraswamy and Farooq Abdullah.
The public announcement of the list came a day after the AAP announced its decision to take on “corrupt” candidates in the upcoming elections to India’s lower house (Lok Sabha) of parliament.
The AAP on Thursday announced that it would contest in at least 350 constituencies out of a total of 543 Lok Sabha seats, elections for which are to be held before May this year.
The AAP, which emerged from an anti-corruption movement that has swept the country in the last three years, stunned established parties like the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party by winning 28 of 70 seats in the recent Delhi state elections.
With the support of the Congress, the AAP now runs the Delhi state government.
Of the 350 seats, the AAP at its national executive meeting on Thursday identified 162 as those represented by what it perceives as corrupt candidates.
“Since we want to weed out criminals and the corrupt from politics, we would surely be fighting the elections in these 162 seats,” said reports, quoting party spokesperson Sanjay Singh.
The AAP made it clear that it could contest more than 350 seats if there were suitable candidates. The party spokesperson was quoted as saying that applications to each constituency would have to pass the scrutiny of the party leadership.
The first criterion that would determine suitability was honesty. The party, it was said, would also discourage candidates seeking to contest on an AAP ticket after deserting other parties.
The resounding success of the AAP has attracted the attention of the entire country with several top businessmen, intellectuals, first-time political entrants and artistes evincing interest in joining the party that has attempted to show that it is walking the talk on ending corruption in politics and governance.
Since it came to power over a month ago, the AAP has instituted audit of powerful private power companies and set up anti-corruption hotlines that Delhi residents can use to tip-off vigilance officials about any corrupt deals.