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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Legislators lend local flavour to AAP’s Lok Sabha campaign

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 24, 2014
First Published: 00:17 IST(24/3/2014) | Last Updated: 00:23 IST(24/3/2014)

For Harish Khanna and Sanjiv Jha, AAP MLAs from Timarpur and Burari, it has been a busy time. Despite the fact that there is still no clarity on when re-polls are due in Delhi, the duo have been on their toes helping out the party’s Lok Sabha candidates.

They have been helping Anand Kumar, AAP’s Lok Sabha candidate for the North East Delhi seat.

Jha, with his Purvia connect, is reaching out to voters, comprising a sizeable Poorvanchali vote base in the North East Delhi constituency. With his academic background, Khanna helps Anand reach out to groups for intellectual support.

And they are not alone. Of the 10 assembly seats under this Lok Sabha constituency, AAP had won just three - Khanna, Jha and Dharmendra Koli from Seemapuri. But it is not just these three MLAs. The other seven candidates, who had contested the 2013 Delhi assembly election, too are pitching in with several responsibilities in their areas.

“All 10 are working to organise roadshows in their areas and also as ward level coordinators. Koli helps out in the membership drive too. All of them also help out in fund/donation mobilization,” Kumar said.

It is a similar scenario in the other six Lok Sabha constituencies. For instance, Narinder Sejwal, who had contested the assembly polls but lost by a narrow margin from Mehrauli, took the lead in organising the ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony for AAP’s south Delhi candidate Col Devinder Sehrawat. Considered auspicious by the rural community, the bhoomi pujan was conducted ahead of Sehrawat’s nomination filing process on Friday.

From organising logistics to inviting villagers from Mehrauli, Mahipalpur and Nangal Dewat, it was Sejwal who got it all done on behalf of Sehrawat. MLAs Ashok Chauhan (Ambedkar Nagar), Prakash Jarwal (Deoli) and Dinesh Mohania (Sangam Vihar) too are working in tandem with responsibilities clearly chalked out. Mohania has almost become a campaign manager while Chauhan looks after the JJ Clusters and communications outreach. Prakash takes care of the logistics and planning for the campaign.

In North West Delhi, MLAs and erstwhile MLA candidates are working for Rakhi Birla, AAP candidate for the constituency. “We held a meeting with Rakhi and area volunteers once her name was finalised. The planning also included taking special care of the polling stations,” said Rajesh Garg, the AAP MLA from Rohini.

For Veena Anand, the AAP MLA from Patel Nagar, several hours of the day are spent on conducting door-to-door campaigning. “It is not daily that Ashishji (AAP’s candidate for the New Delhi constituency) can come to our area. When he comes, we are with him, but at other times, our team keeps up the campaign pitch,” she told HT. Raj Mohan Gandhi (East Delhi), Ashutosh (Chandni Chowk) and Jarnail Singh (West Delhi) too are being helped out similarly.

But from next week onwards, it will be the two best known MLAs who are set to storm Delhi. After the March 25th Varanasi rally, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia will extensively campaign for all seven candidates.


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