LS polls: Does AAP stand a chance in Kerala?

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LS polls: Does AAP stand a chance in Kerala?
Thiruvananthapuram, March 13: The southern state of Kerala has never favoured any political party, other than the Congress-led United Democratic Front and CPI(M) -led Left Democratic Front. Even the Bharatiya Janata Party, in spite of many a struggles, hasn't been able to make inroads into the state.

Now, the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party is the latest political party trying to make a mark in the political turf of Kerala. Although none of the big players seem to feel threatened by the 'rebel' party so far, things might change over time, says the media in the state.

The Kerala wing of Aam Aadmi Party has a Facebook page, which has over 3,13,434 "Likes" at the moment. This is far more than the number of followers the erstwhile Communist Party of India (Marxist) and ruling UDF has in the state.

But the party's Facebook popularity is likely to have little impact in its electoral prospects. According to an opinion poll conducted in February by the Institute for Monitoring Economic Growth in Thiruvananthapuram, AAP has meagre chances of winning a seat in the upcoming general elections in the state.

However, AAP hasn't yet given up hopes. The party has an office in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital, and Kochi, where a team of ten volunteers runs the AAP Kerala Facebook page. The team generate and post upto six stories everyday. Most of AAP supporters in Kerala are youngesters. Nine out of 10 of these members have other jobs, says a report, which adds that the AAP encourages this trend because it does not want people to depend on politics for their livelihood.

The AAP has already announced its candidates in three of 20 of Kerala's constituencies, and plans to field seven more candidates. Noted candidates are journalist-turned-writer Anita Pratap, writer Sara Joseph and Ajith Joy, a retired IP officer.

Anita Pratap is likely to contest from Ernakulam against Professor KV Thomas, the union minister of state for food and civil supplies. She grabbed international headlines for her coverage of the Srilankan civil war. She has worked with big names like Time magazine and CNN.  In 1983, she became the first journalist to interview V Prabhakaran, the chief of the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam. Why did she choose AAP over other parties?  According to, Pratap wants to serve all sections of the society and decided to join AAP because the party has picked up the right issues. "Moreover I identify with Kejriwal's courage", she said.

Sarah Joseph will contest from Thrissur where she is a household name. Even before her political entry, she was an active presence in various talk shows and cultural activities in the city.

Ajith Joy will contest from Thiruvananthapuram, against the Congress man Shashi Tharoor.

"Having worked in the police department, I have witnessed corruption and exploitation of the common man," he told .

"In AAP, we do not make any false promises. Instead, we are compiling citizens' grievances and we will prioritise our work accordingly. Decentralisation of power, safety for women and step-by-step eradication of corruption are a few of our immediate priorities", he said.

The candidate selection was done by a panel which consisted of a retired judge, a senior journalist, an AAP representative, an advocate and three other senior activists who interviewed all the applicants.

Oneindia News

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