Swaraj India invites applicants who wish to contest MCD polls

4 Feb 2017

Kickstarting the process of selecting candidates for civic polls, Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India today "invited" applicants who wish to enter the electoral fray. Yadav said thrust would be on women and youth while selecting the candidates,"however, there will be no compromise on people with 4 Cs ---- bad character, criminal record, corruption and communal."  The party also announced a three-tier screening system to choose candidates for the polls to 272 civic wards of three municipal bodies, namely the NDMC, EDMC and SDMC, scheduled this year. "We are inviting those who think they want to be a part of the electoral process, wish to contest polls and bring in a change. We invite them all," Yadav said. He said the party has uploaded the form on the website of Sawraj Abhiyan, the parent body of Swaraj India. The applicants will be first vetted by a screening committee for the '4Cs'. Candidates will be further short-listed by the selection committee headed by party's general secretary Ajit Jha. Names of the selected candidates will be made public. "If anyone has information about any incident related to the 4Cs, people can inform the party," said Yadav, who was expelled along with noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan from Aam Aadmi Party in 2015. "The claims will be investigated by an Integrity Committee of six people headed by noted RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj. If this committee finds the claim to be genuine, then the decision of the panel will be mandatory," Yadav said. The panel will work independent of the party and none of the members are associated with Swaraj India, he added. The names of the candidates will be announced after February 12, when Swaraj India will have its 'Jawab Do Hisab Do' rally at the Ramlila Maidan, where it will ask for an account of work done by the Delhi government and the BJP-ruled civic bodies. Incidentally, the AAP too had a similar system in December 2013 assembly polls, where candidates were invited and selected through a selection process. However, the process was discontinued in Delhi Assembly polls, 2015, and Punjab polls. Last year, Swaraj Abhiyan had also backed a candidate in a MCD by-poll in Wazirpur for which it had adopted a model similar to one used in the US primaries. Candidate was zeroed down after extensive debate among those who wished to contest polls. Finally people were asked to select their candidate, who was backed by Swarak Abhiyan. However, in the polls, the candidate could barely manage a few hundred votes.(PTI)