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Aam aadmis boo one of their own

Arvind Kejriwal’s critics call him a disruptive force in the garb of a reformist. His AAP supporters in Ranchi ended up reinforcing that sentiment when they put up a loud and unruly show against their own candidate for the high-profile Ranchi seat.

Amanullah Amaan may be an IIT alumnus with an MBA from Oxford University, but on Friday he failed to convince his supporters of his son-of-the-soil credentials in full glare of an invited audience of media persons.

“Who chose you as candidate for the Ranchi seat?” asked an angry party man at their jampacked office at Kutchery. “We have never seen you in Ranchi since the party came into existence.”

He was echoing the sentiments of around 100 people gathered there, more out of curiosity rather than a show of support. They all had a lot of questions.

How could Amaan manage to get a party ticket without a local link? More importantly, why did he not inform them that he had come to the city a week back?

Amaan tried to explain. The central leadership had selected him as a candidate after verifying his certificates and his integrity as an “aam aadmi”. He claimed his native village was in Lohardaga and that he had worked in Ranchi as a, what else, “common man”, maintaining a low profile.

But the protests continued.

“How can you become our candidate when none of us has even heard of you? The party cannot impose a candidate from outside. This is wrong,” shouted Geeta Biswas.

Harindra Nath Singh claimed Amaan had, in fact, set up his own election office in Ranchi without their knowledge. “That is why he had to face the wrath of party workers,” he explained.

From 3pm to the next hour, Amaan tried to explain his credentials. Having passed intermediate in science from Patna Science College in 1988, he studied engineering at IIT, Kharagpur till 1993. Later, he also worked for Gammon Infrastructure Project Limited from 2006 to 2009.

But since no one was in a mood to listen, he realised his time was up.

“I am not in a position to talk. We will meet soon,” he told media persons looking to him for a reaction, and left.