‘Congress, BJP should be worried about saving their seats’
Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party saw a formal launch on Monday with its members sounding a warning to the political class
Arvind Kejriwal on Monday 26 November formally launched his Aam Aadmi Party in presence of more than 5000 people at Parliament Street in the Capital. The 23-member national executive was also introduced to people with the office bearers of the party. Kejriwal was declared convener, Pankaj Gupta the secretary and Krishna Kant the treasurer.
Before reaching Parliament Street, Kejriwal and his team visited Rajghat and Ambedkar Bhavan early in the morning to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi and Dr BR Ambedkar. The martyrs of 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks were also paid tribute by Kejriwal who reiterated his demand that those National Security Guard commandos who are yet to be honoured be recognised by the government at the first possible opportunity.
During the launch, taking a jibe at the ruling and the opposition parties, Kumar Vishwas, a member of the executive, said, “Congress and BJP are saying that we won't get even 10 seats. Instead they should be worried about how would they save their seats.” Vishwas also pointed at the crowd and said, "In the last two years there hasn't been this much crowd at Jantar Mantar. People have decided in what direction they want to take this agitation.”
The party had earlier declared that those who would become members Monday would be treated as founder members. This led to a chaotic situation and party workers had to announce that 10,000 forms were sold out in almost no time in the morning and they had to register people without giving a counter-slip. The party members were also seen collecting donation in the name of Aam Aadmi Party.
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Formally joining the political system, a team of social activists led by Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday 24 November announced the formation of Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man’s Party) at the Constitution Club of India in New Delhi. “After all the agitations last year, we realised that unless the politics would change, we won’t get Jan Lokpal. Thus we decided to challenge the political system,” said Kejriwal explaining the reasons behind the formation of the party. He said the aim of his party would be to bring Jan Lokpal Bill and to establish self-rule of people in the country so as not to have them “beg before their representatives after electing them.”
Detailing out the structure of the party, Kejriwal unveiled a 320-member national council and a 23-member core decision making national executive for the party, which would be expanded at a later stage. “One member from each district would later be added to the national council after the district committees are formed,” said Kejriwal. The national executive, which includes all the prominent team Kejriwal members, will meet on Sunday evening to decide the names of the office bearers which will include a convener, secretary and treasurer.
The national council in its first meeting held on Saturday adopted a vision document which talks about decentralisation of power and reforming the judicial system to ensure delivery of justice as a right. A constitution for the party has also been adopted which has fixed Rs 10 as the basic membership fee to join the party and be its member for three years. Members would have voting rights only if they work for the party actively for four months.
It further says that nepotism and dynasty politics would not be allowed within the party and no two members from the same family can hold a position in party’s council or contest elections under the party’s banner. Reservation for women and youths at every level has also been envisaged with a provision which says that at least one of the top two positions at each organisational level would be held by a woman.
The party’s constitution also talks about right to recall or removing a member from his/her position in case the council wishes to do so. Lokpal and Lokayuktas would also be there to resolve complaints against party members at all levels. The party says that it would be transparent in all its financial dealings and would make the details of all the donations public by publishing it on their website.
Detailing out the party’s long term plan, political scientist and member of the executive council Yogendra Yadav said, “The party will make committees on various subjects such as agriculture, health, police reforms, etc, which would hold extensive nationwide consultations to decide party’s stand on the issues related to them.” Members of the party also made it clear that their first aim is to contest Delhi elections and they would decide on fielding candidates for 2014 Parliamentary elections only after that.
Prakhar Jain is a Correspondent with Tehelka.