More members, more funds and ideas: AAP grows to enter bigger turfs

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More members, more funds and ideas: AAP grows to enter bigger turfs
New Delhi, Jan 2: Isn't the surge of Aam Aadmi Party surprising? What started as an anti-graft movement, has grown into a political party, powerful enough to overthrow the three-terms long Congress rule in the national capital region. Arvind Kejriwal, who architected the whole process with the help of a brilliant team, is now the Delhi chief minister.

It is not a one-man movement. Along with Kejriwal, leaders like Yogendra Yadav, Manish Sisodia, Kumar Viswas and Rakhi Birla have been grabbing headlines. After their stunning feat in Delhi assembly elections, 3 Lakh volunteers have joined the party from across the country. Among them are techies, bankers and corporate-heads who quit their high-paying jobs to join the party.

Meera Sanyal, the Harvard Business School-educated head of Royal Bank of Scotland, quit her job to join the AAP.

In Bangalore, V Balakrishnan, former-Infosys board member, joined the AAP, which he hails as the 'best start-up ever by an IIT-ian'. Balakrishnan was once seen as the 'future CEO' of Infosys.

Recently, Adarsh Shastri, grandson of former Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, quit his prized job as head of sales for Apple in western India to join the AAP.

In Ahmedabad, former BJP MLA Kanu Kalsariya joined AAP on Jan 1. A gynaecologist by training, Kanu had led the agitation against Nirma's cement plant in his Gariadhar constituency. He described AAP as "a symbol of people's power."

Traditionally, political parties in India have operated in a very predicatble way - The ruling parties try to retain the power and the opposition parties try to overthrow the ruling party and grab power from them. Democracy has always centred around 'power' and not 'people'.

And for people, there is a conspiracy in every political move. In a country where the relation between citizens and political parties is largely based on 'mistrust', the AAP is essentially trying to break the tradition. Their efforts are directed at re-installing people's faith in political parties and involve them in the process of democracy.

And the party is receiving rave response from people across the country. On Wednesday, AAP's online fund collection touched Rs 38 lakh, said a Times of India report. Until the Delhi elections, AAP was receiving on an average Rs 6-7 lakh a day. It stopped collections once it reached its target of Rs 20 crore. The fund collection was resumed after the party announced it decision to contest in Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress had tried to draw parallels between the AAP's programmes and those of Rahul Gandhi. CPI (M)'s Prakash Karat said on Wednesday that AAP is a non-Congress, non-BJP group and it works on a space that the Left front seeks to develop and promote. All these indicates that the nearly one year old party is no more an infant in Indian politics. It is preparing to become a big player and take on the traditional political parties in India. If this isn't a good news for Indian democracy, then what is?

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