Hoping to ride on Delhi wave, AAP begins Haryana campaign

Hidden somewhere in the recesses of rural Haryana, the sleepy little village of Sahranwas used to have only one claim to fame. It was home to Captain Ajay Singh, state Cabinet Minister for Power, Forests and Environment and six-time MLA from Rewari. But now, over the past few months, visitors to Sahranwas seek another address. They look for the home of Professor Devendra Singh, father of Yogendra Yadav, leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the man several think could be the next chief minister of Haryana.

Yet to reconcile with his winter afternoons being continually interrupted by people looking for access to his son, Singh said, "It is a reflection that things are changing in Haryana. People used to come here to meet the Captain. Now they also come to meet Yogendra. They ask me to put them in touch with him. I tell them that with his schedule, there are days when I cannot speak to my own son."

His son is fast becoming the face of the campaign in a state where the party announced on Sunday that it would contest all 10 parliamentary constituencies and all 90 Assembly seats, but Singh's perspective on the AAP is still largely academic.

"Our family has always been one of academicians. My father was an academic as well, and I teach Economics. For most of his life, Yogendra has been a scholar of Political Science. I tell him to be careful of the jump to politics. There are many who come to Sahranwas to serve society for the AAP. But there are also others who only come to me asking for a party ticket. In Haryana as well, there is no doubt that the AAP is rising. But Haryana is very different from Delhi, and they will only succeed if they continue to be different from other parties in the fray," said Singh.

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