Membership trickle turns flood after Delhi AAPswing

AAPThe Aam Aadmi Party has been swamped as lakhs of people across the country are registering for its membership and thousands are seeking to contest the Lok Sabha elections on the AAP ticket. (AP)

Following its dramatic debut in the Delhi elections, the Aam Aadmi Party has been swamped as lakhs of people across the country are registering for its membership and thousands are seeking to contest the Lok Sabha elections on the AAP ticket.

It is a continuing deluge that has caught the party completely unawares.

"We are the fastest growing political party - we have received some 200,000 online applications for membership in the past month and an equal number or more membership applications offline," said Prithvi Reddy, the Bangalore-based AAP national executive member.

The party is yet to collate the number of applicants seeking a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections. "It is in the thousands, we can't say accurately," Reddy said.

It is a remarkable surge for the upstart party.

For instance, in Karnataka the party had just a few thousand members last month and a mere hint of an urban presence outside Bangalore at the time votes were being counted in the Delhi assembly election.

AAP's complete unpreparedness to handle the gush came to light this week when former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan announced that he had joined the Aam Aadmi Party.

But Reddy said neither he nor any others at AAP in Delhi had heard of Bala's entry. "If he has registered for membership online, it is hard to know. We are trying to now connect with him over the phone but he is unreachable," he said.

Balakrishnan was reported as saying that he had registered online for membership as AAP had created a revolution in the country and captured the imagination of young Indians everywhere.

"It is the best start-up by an IIT-ian," he was quoted as saying, referring to the IIT pedigree of AAP's founder and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

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