AAP members demonstrate against ‘outsider’ Amanullah Aman at their party office in Ranchi on Monday. (Hardeep Singh)
Overriding Aam Aadmi Party central leadership’s choice of IITian-Oxonian Amanullah Aman for the Ranchi Lok Sabha poll ticket, the district unit on Monday afternoon unanimously pitched for an alumnus of St Xavier’s College, Ranchi, 34-year-old Amit Kumar, as their “official candidate”.
Amid high drama, local AAP leaders rejected Amanullah as an outsider, calling him a “Siberian bird”.
“Our candidate for Ranchi parliamentary seat will be Amit Kumar. He will file his nomination paper on March 26. With this move, we have rejected Amanullah as our party candidate from Ranchi. His appearance in the city is like the Siberian bird. The central leadership tried to impose him on us but we are not ready to accept him as our candidate,” said one of the AAP founder members Subedar Sidhanath Singh, who joined the party after he retired from Indian Army.
Asked if their dissent was against party principle, Singh disagreed. “We have founded the party in Ranchi and it is our duty now to bar any unwanted element,” he said.
AAP district convener Ajay Choudhary echoed the same. “It appears Amanullah managed a party ticket using unfair means. As genuine party members and well-wishers, it is our duty to point out this irregularity to our central leadership and show the door to the manipulator,” he said.
Contacted, Kumar said he was ready to become the party candidate for Ranchi even though central leadership had chosen someone else.
“Our party chief Arvind Kejriwalji said that it is our duty to uproot what is not in our best interests and we are doing the same,” he said. “Jo sarkar janta hiton ko andekha karti hai, to janta ka yah adhikar hi nahi kartvya ban jata hai ki us sarkar ko ukhar phenke (It is our right and responsibility to overthrow a government that overlooks people’s interests),” he added, perhaps getting a tad carried away by slogans of “Amanullah murdabad, Amit Kumar zindabad”.
Amanullah, when contacted for his comments over Monday’s development, played safe.
“AAP has given one candidate for Ranchi Lok Sabha. If someone wants to contest election, I do not have to say anything as every one has equal right in a democracy,” he said diplomatically.
When pressed that protesters were not any Tom, Dick or Harry, but AAP party workers, he conceded: “A section of party workers is against me but I welcome all.”
The suspense ruling the AAP office in Ranchi since March 21 over Amanullah’s “outsider status” will end only on March 26, the last date for Ranchi candidates to file nomination papers. So far, which A will file AAP papers remains anybody’s guess.