The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has released its first list of eight candidates for the October 21 assembly polls in Maharashtra, marking the Delhi-based outfit's debut in the assembly contest in the state.
The Maharashtra unit of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party on Monday released the list of eight candidates, three of whom have been fielded from Mumbai, which has 36 seats.
Altogether, the party will contest on around 50 seats in the state which has a 288-member assembly, AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon said today.
Late last month, the party had set up an 11-member campaign committee to oversee the election process and shortlist candidates.
It had appointed Ranga Rachure as the committee's convenor and Kishore Mandhyan as co-convenor along with other office-bearers and members.
"We have an 11-member committee and all are seasoned people with political experience. Our committee members as well as candidates have a long history of doing social work and raising different issues besides fighting against anti-people policies of the ruling dispensation," Ms Menon, AAP National Executive member, told news agency PTI.
Releasing the first list of candidates at a press conference here, Menon said the party aims to field around 50 contestants in Maharashtra and the names of other nominees will be announced in coming days.
She said her party is contesting the elections not to rule Maharashtra, but to emerge as the "voice of opposition" in the state currently governed by the BJP-Shiv Sena combine.
"Far from holding the government accountable and ensuring some respite for the suffering citizenry, current opposition is in a disarray and has failed to do its basic constitutional duty," she said.
The AAP wants to fill the "vacuum" that exists in the opposition ranks, Menon said.
In Mumbai, the party has fielded human rights activist Vitthal Lad from Jogeshwari (East) Assembly constituency, entrepreneur Siraj Khan from Chandivli and Dilip Tawde, a former trade unionist, from Dindoshi.
Ms Menon said AAP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh will launch the party's campaign on Wednesday in Mumbai, where he will address a few rallies.
The seven-year-old party, which had drawn a blank in Maharashtra in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, has thrown its hat in the state poll ring for the first time.
The fledgling party had stayed away from the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra.