Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal waited for more than six hours at an election office before he could file his nomination papers on Tuesday. It was the last day to submit documents to contest elections to Delhi Assembly.
The Aam Aadmi Party chief arrived with his mother, father and wife at the sub-divisional magistrate’s office in Jamnagar House in the afternoon and left when it was dark because of a long queue of 66 candidates who had suddenly surfaced on the last day. Most of them were Independents.
Mr Kejriwal had missed filing his papers on Monday as he got held up by his own massive roadshow. He is contesting from the prestigious New Delhi Assembly constituency.
On Tuesday, 66 candidates showed up to file their nomination at the SDM’s office in Jamnagar House. Holding token no. 45, Mr Kejriwal tweeted: “Waiting to file my nomination. My token no is 45. There are many people here to file nomination papers. Am so glad so many people participating in democracy.”
However, the Chief Minister’s deputy Manish Sisodia tweeted, “BJP planted 45 people in the line before Arvind Kejriwal. The Election Commission is deliberately giving each candidate half-an-hour or one hour… even those whose papers are not complete or those who don’t have proposers.”
Mr Sisodia added, “BJP people, do whatever you want, you cannot stop Kejriwal from filing his nomination or from becoming Chief Minister for the third time. Your conspiracy will not succeed.”
One of the aspiring candidates, who claimed he had been betrayed by the AAP leader when he was part of the Anna Hazare anti-corruption campaign, said: “Kejriwal has no option but to stand in the queue like all of us. Let him also see what aam aadmi has to undergo in his day-to-day life in any government office.”
Kejriwal, who has twice won the constituency, will be facing first-timers from the BJP and the Congress in the upcoming February 8 elections.
The BJP has fielded its Delhi unit Yuva Morcha president Sunil Yadav, and the Congress has pitched its former student leader, Romesh Sabharwal.
Soon after the BJP named Yadav as its candidate from the New Delhi seat, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj claimed that the saffron party had surrendered before the polls.