AAPter effects: A party takes baby steps in Gujarat

Following its stunning performance in the Delhi Assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) presence in Gujarat is set to increase as it is attracting people from different quarters, mainly youngsters, queuing up to join the party that vows to herald "corruption-free India" and "true swaraj". Apart from the youth cutting across various social background, the list of fresh registrations include retired IPS officer and former minister Jaspal Singh and a retired Gujarat-cadre IAS officer, G D Vyas.

The party, that was formed on November 24 last year, had only 6,000 members in Gujarat before the Delhi Assembly polls. However, following the election results, the membership has crossed 45,000 and is increasing by the day.

The party's state headquarters at Bungalow Number H-2 of Aayojan Nagar near Shreyas Railway Crossing in Ahmedabad is these days witnessing a continuous stream of people, a majority of them from colleges or young professionals.

Satish Limbachiya, 28, who registered on Tuesday, said he was attracted by the simplicity of the party leadership.

"The new generation of educated youngsters are overwhelmed by the simplicity of its leaders and their spectacular performance in Delhi Assembly polls," said Limbachiya, an advocate. He said 17 of his friends from different professions were also ready to join AAP and work for it.

"Through the Delhi polls, AAP indicated that even the poor can aspire to become an MLA or MP which is not the case in established parties like BJP or Congress where tickets are given according to one's financial position and wealth," Limbachiya added.

Another new member is Vyas who retired as Secretary of Gujarat Energy Regulatory Commission in 2004. On being asked for reasons to join the AAP, Vyas said, "...to provide clean, transparent and people-oriented administration in Gujarat." Currently, Vyas is working as an advisor to Cheminova, a Denmark-based Multi-National Company (MNC) and plans to resign in January to work full-time for the party.

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