Lucknow, April 1:
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has run into plenty of problems in Uttar Pradesh.
Twelve hours after it sprang a surprise by naming actor Javed Jaaferi as its Lok Sabha candidate from Lucknow, murmurs of dissent are getting louder even in the loyalist camp.
Vaibhav Maheshwari, the state spokesman for the party, admits that he is clueless how Jaaferi’s name cropped up.
But he denies charges that the candidature is aimed at dividing the Muslim vote in the state capital to make the going easy for BJP president Rajnath Singh.
Amit Saini, an IT professional, says he is withdrawing support from the AAP.
This, he says, is owing to the way the party is now taking decisions and heaping them on the state unit.
He says the actor neither applied for ticket and did not appear in the interviews held in February in the state capital.
“Why this farce of interviews if you have to parachute politicians?” asks Ananya Mishra, an interior designer from Pune now working in Lucknow.
Until Monday afternoon, the city was buzz with reports that Adarsh Shastri, grandson of late prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, was in the reckoning for the Lucknow seat.
Shastri flew into the city anticipating the announcement. Friends say he is disappointed. He had quit a lucrative multinational job to join the AAP some months ago.
Elsewhere too things do not seem to be going well for the party.
While the party has declared its willingness to contest all the 80 seats in the state, the AAP is getting a taste of the Hindi heartland politics.
While senior leader Aruna Singh was recently shown the door for allegedly seeking money from prospective candidates, former journalist Mukul Tripathi of Farukkhabad has returned the party ticket.
Tripathi has also alleged “internal corruption” in the party.
In the last one month, Abhilasha Jatav has returned the party ticket from Jalaun, Iliyaas Aazmi from Lakhimpur Kheri, Iqbal Mustafa from Faizabad, Asharfi Lal from Shahjahanpur and Khalid Pervez from Moradabad.
Jatav, a former CRPF commando, alleges humiliation from party leaders as she did not have enough money to campaign.
Kumar Vishwas, the poet-turned-politician, too is facing rough weather in Amethi where he is contesting against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.
He has faced hostile crowds in villages. Now, with the entry of former actor and BJP Rajya Sabha member Smriti Irani into the Amethi fray, Kumar Vishwas is set for a tougher contest.