Inside the Aam Aadmi Party
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Be it its volunteer corps, its autorickshaw ads, its door-to-door approach or its honesty pitch, AAP is taking baby steps to creating a political space for itself in Delhi. The Indian Express looks at the birth of a new 'party with a difference'.
Under an unforgiving afternoon sun, a small band of eclectic allies takes to Delhi's by-lanes. A software engineer, a floor supervisor, a final-year student and a shopkeeper. They walk house to house, spend a few minutes in each, tick off names and scribble comments in a thick binder.
A wide age gap separates them; they come from across the country; and no two are dressed alike, except for their headgear, which is a Gandhi cap with four words in a big print, 'Main Hoon Aam Aadmi (I am the common man)'.
This group is canvassing in Central Delhi's Jor Bagh, with the task of unseating Delhi's hat-trick Chief Minister—Sheila Dikshit of the Congress. They are spearheading the campaign of the man who has threatened to change the way politics is done in the country. And, given the way he is going about it, in the heart of India's power centre, coming out of nowhere, he has managed to at least hint at the possibility. He is Arvind Kejriwal, and this is the Aam Aadmi Party.
"It is very simple. The bigger they are, the harder they fall," says Rajesh Dwivedi, a software engineer from Mumbai, who quit his job in the IT industry to volunteer for AAP. "Dikshit wins in Jor Bagh only because nobody of stature contests elections against her. Our tallest leader Kejriwal will take her on."