Upbeat AAP readies for celebrations

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New Delhi, Feb 9: They smell victory and are ready for a carnival. Preparations are in full swing Monday outside the AAP headquarters in central Delhi.

Expecting to return to power again as predicted by exit polls, the Aam Aadmi Party has planned a massive celebration Tuesday when votes polled in the Saturday ballot will be counted.

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In front of the three-storey building in a middle income area of East Patel Nagar, the AAP has set up two stages.

One is for an army of Indian and foreign journalists expected to throng the AAP office. The other is for party volunteers who have planned dance performances.

"We will be singing patriotic songs. Known music composer Vishal Dadlani will also perform," one AAP activist, Anand, told IANS.

The Mumbai-based Dadlani, who campaigned for the AAP, Monday urged AAP supporters to be gracious in victory.

"IF we win, be gracious. No gloating. AK (Arvind Kejriwal) will be Delhi's CM, not just ours," he tweeted.

"I said this to RSS/BJP workers, now to AAP people too. Ideologies may differ, but we love the same India. Be respectful in victory and defeat.

"Behaviour decides what kind of country we live in! A lot of people may have said/done things to hurt us, during elections. IF AAP wins, we must return only love and inclusiveness."

Four LED television sets have been installed in the open to help party workers follow the election results as they unfold. Seventy loudspeakers will periodically blare out the results.

The party has also made arrangements for the media in a park opposite the AAP building.

"TV channels can have their makeshift studios in the park," said a party functionary.

The AAP office, which until August 2014 was located near a well known Hanuman temple in Connaught Place, was Monday abuzz with activity. The entire area was brimming with supporters and volunteers - and onlookers.

Almost everyone was visibly upbeat.

"We are expecting a large number of supporters tomorrow. We have already written an apology letter to residents for the impending inconvenience," said Ram Kumar, head of the logistics department of AAP.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who left his residence in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh for Delhi Monday afternoon, will reach the party headquarter at 2 p.m. and address the crowd - irrespective of a win or loss.

An estimated 20,000 AAP volunteers from all over India descended on the capital to campaign for the party to overcome a formidable challenge from the BJP.

Most of them are expected to stay on until Kejriwal -- if the AAP wins -- takes oath Feb 15, a year after he resigned as chief minister after running a government for 49 days.

IANS

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