Delhi: Swaraj India announces MCD poll plans, invites common citizens to contest election

In a first-of- its-kind initiative Yogendra Yadav led new political party Swaraj India has appealed Delhi citizens to contest Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) polls through an open application process.

Swaraj India — formed out of Swaraj Abhiyan, which is a socio-political movement — on Saturday announced its plans and candidate selection process for the upcoming MCD polls in in New Delhi.

File image of Yogendra Yadav. PTI

File image of Yogendra Yadav. PTI

The party which has introduced several innovative measures within the party and in its campaigning strategy, has moved a step ahead by appealing Delhi citizens to apply for candidature to contest Delhi’s civic polls. The aim is to bring greater transparency and democracy both in candidate selection process and contesting the election.

“Our objective is to strengthen our party and organisation at every level and make it truly democratic, so as to avoid the high command culture that exists in other mainstream political parties,” Yogendra Yadav, president of Swaraj India told Firstpost.

Swaraj India’s plan

— Any Delhi citizen can pitch for Swaraj India's candidature. A prior membership is not required for applying for a ticket.

— Special emphasis to be given on women and youth assuming political responsibility

— Swaraj India will contest all 272 seats in three MCDs.

— All prospective candidates will go through a three-stage screening, selection and integrity process.

— A 5 to 7 member committee will first screen all applications and shortlist names based on the local input. Then, the selection committee will choose the candidate among the shortlisted applicants.

— Swaraj India has constituted a six-member independent integrity committee for the transparent selection process of candidates. It will be headed by noted RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj, who is not related to the party.

According to the party sources, Swaraj India’s candidate selection procedure includes several parameters in addition to the feedback of its own workers and ground level volunteers. “The party will focus on cleanliness in terms of character, crime, corruption and a non-communal past of a candidate. These are essential prerequisites,” said Prof Anand Kumar, senior leader of Swaraj India.

“There will be a special emphasis on passing greater political responsibility to women and the youth, and not just a mere symbolic presence,” he added.

The party has made it clear that complaints against proposed candidates will be investigated and dealt with by the integrity committee, whose decision will be final and non-negotiable.

“This robust procedure will ensure that clean and able candidates are chosen to represent the people of Delhi and Swaraj India. Contesting an election is not a beginning or end objective of Swaraj India. We see it as a part of our Swaraj Abhiyan’s movement. So, better is the goal, the path to achieve it will be better,” emphasised Yadav.

Swaraj India like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took birth on 2 October 2016 out of anti-corruption movement of 2011 — India Against Corruption. In fact the key leaders and a large number of members of Swaraj India were a part of AAP.

But with growing ideological differences within the parent party led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a faction broke away to form Swaraj Abhiyan movement.

Prior to forming a political outfit, Swaraj Abhiyan took up several social issues like illegal liquor vends in the residential areas in Delhi, garbage problems in localities due to apathy of MCDs, and so on.

After contemplating for more than a year, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan-led Swaraj Abhiyan officially announced the new all-India political party, with the mission of ushering probity, transparency and accountability in electoral politics.

A big chunk of these ‘other crusaders’ who were a part of IAC joined hands with the AAP splinter group Swaraj Abhiyan’s new party Swaraj India.

The party has also announced that declaration of candidates will be done in several phases after a rally at Ramlila Maidan on 12 February.

“We’re committed to infuse a fresh energy into the political system. Keeping this in mind, our sole objective is to give more opportunity to youths, so that India can have a new and clean politics,” added Yadav.

Updated Date: Feb 04, 2017 20:50 PM

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