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Battle 2014: AAP may field Shazia Ilmi against Sonia Gandhi
Thursday February 6, 2014 0:15 AM, & Agencies

It seems that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is hoping to pitch high-profile candidates in contradiction of two of the biggest names in Indian politics.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has played the drums with Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, ex-governor and public servant Gopalkrishna Gandhi, to contest against BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The party is also had it in mind to consider one of its high profile and spirited faces, Shazia Ilmi, to contest in opposition to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Shazia Ilmi, a former TV anchor, a former journalist who has been allied with AAP since its inception. Ilmi contested the Delhi Assembly elections from the RK Puram constituency and lost by a very near to the ground margin of about 300 votes.

Gopal Krishna Gandhi, who besides being the Mahatma's grandson also counts India's last governor-general and statesman C Rajagopalachari as his maternal grandfather, the party will be of the opinion that his surname and his credentials would be a perfect counterfoil to Modi.

It is learnt that he was first approached about two weeks ago, but the party is yet to hear his final decision as he have no intention to join politics.

However, Gandhi, told the reporters, "politics is not my cup of tea", He also said, while he liked the Aam Aadmi Party's ideals, he would not contest an election as their candidate against Modi.

"I hold the ideals of the Aam Aadmi Party in high esteem and hope that they will bring about a distinct change in our political values. But I am not joining AAP, or standing for Parliament as that party's candidate," as said by him in an emailed response to reporters questions.

Besides a family bequest at the acme of Indian politics, Gandhi's immediate family too has had a brush with electoral politics. The older brother Rajmohan Gandhi had contested and lost Lok Sabha elections in 1989 from Amethi in opposition to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The ex-IAS officer, diplomat and governor's (he was the governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009) Gopal Gandhi, 69, at present lives in Chennai and is the chairman of the governing body of the Shimla-based Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

As said by AAP sources, Illmi candidature was discussed at the meeting of AAP's National Executive held last week.

Ilmi too said that she has not yet decided on fighting elections against Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli. "My name was discussed informally, but I am yet to decide whether I will fight elections, let alone against Sonia Gandhi," she said.


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