New Delhi, Nov 29: To expand its reach in the villages, Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday launched its rural wing, Delhi Grameen Morcha. Addressing party volunteers and sympathisers at the launch, party's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal promised growth in rural areas and said "development of Delhi was not possible if villages remained under-developed". [AAP names Sisodia, Birla in second list for Delhi polls]
He also promised to have a 'gram needhi' a village-level fund, on the lines of MP, MLA and councillor funds. He said that the village will decide on how to use the money. Launching an attack on opposition parties, Kejriwal said Congress was not aware that rural areas existed in Delhi while the BJP only used these areas as vote-bank and turned its back after elections got over. He said the BJP's policy was anti-farmer in nature as it wanted to make amendments to the Land Acquisition Act and grab land from farmers and give to builders for constructing buildings.
"There are 350 villages in Delhi, of which 150 have been urbanised, but the remaining 200 are still rural in nature. I want to make model villages," Kejriwal said. Rural areas and outer Delhi have been some of the parts where AAP did not get response as it was expecting. After the Lok Sabha debacle, the party also launched a drive to connect with rural masses. Under this programme, Kejriwal visited several villages to strengthen the party in these areas.
Touching upon several issues, the former Delhi Chief Minister promised educational institutions and building of sports infrastructure in the rural areas. "People here often complain that their children have to travel long distance to attend colleges. After my government comes to power, we will build colleges in these rural. The villages have promised to provide land and we will buy them but them at a market price.
"We also intend to build stadia and sports infrastructure so that these villages can produce sportsemen who can make Delhi and country proud," he said. The former Delhi Chief Minister also promised better connectivity to villages with more bus and Metro facilities.
Highlighting the issues of farmers in the national capital, he promised equal treatment, in terms of subsidy and other benefits, as farmers in other states receive.
The party proposed to provide alternate land to farmers as the first option and in case land is not available, then all bottlenecks will be removed to ensure adequate compensation to farmers whose lands are acquired for developmental works by the government and private parties.
Kejriwal also promised to remove all sections from the Delhi Land Reforms Act which provide for punishment to farmers, since penal provisions to deal with farmers is a "highly retrograde step". Hari Ram Khatri will be the president of the Delhi unit of AAP Gramin Morcha and Siddharth Malik will be its general secretary.