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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

AAP's Yogendra Yadav looks to win over Haryana

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  Kundli border/Karnal/Rod (Haryana), January 13, 2014
First Published: 13:00 IST(13/1/2014) | Last Updated: 13:10 IST(13/1/2014)

"Dilli hui hamari hai, ab Haryana ki baari hai" (Delhi won, now its Haryana's turn) reads a placard held by a youth, wearing the trademark Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) cap, who is standing in a crowd at a school in Haryana's Kundli.

It is 9.30am. About 200-odd AAP supporters, most of them wearing the party cap and holding banners, are listening to party leader Yogendra Yadav at the school.

After using the same slogan, Yadav said: "When we raise this slogan, what do you mean we have to change? We have to bring about a change in the political character. The chief minister's chair is not important, what is important is to ensure that it remains as holy as Raja Harishchandra's singhasan (throne). The one who sits on it, speaks only the truth and does good politics."

After Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP’s focus is now on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. But it shares a special equation with Haryana as the party believes "people of Haryana, especially volunteers, played an important role in Delhi elections."

Yadav, who is in-charge of elections in Haryana, has already declared that his party is not just preparing for the Lok Sabha polls, but also looking at a possible early assembly elections in Haryana and is ready for it.

Read: After Delhi, AAP turns its eyes on Haryana

Every week most of his time is spent touring different places across the state.

On Saturday, Yadav was on a whirlwind tour attending a series of roadside meetings at places such as Murthal, Gannuar and Samalkha and talking to a few of the supporters mostly accepting greetings and flowers and addressing volunteers’ meetings at Panipat and Karnal.

“Earlier, people made fun of our caps and not even 10 of them spoke to us. Now, thousands are chasing us to become AAP members,” Nitin Monga, AAP worker from Kharkhoda, said.

At Murthal, Shamsher Singh, a former army man, said, "I was impressed when AAP made ex-NSG commando Surender Singh its candidate. He is an MLA today, signifying this is the party for the real aam aadmi."

Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav inaugurating the party's new office in village Islampur, in Gurgaon. (Parveen Kumar/HT photo)

At Karnal, a hall at the Ramlila Maidan was overflowing with over 2,000 volunteers and supporters.

Congratulating the ladies present for "participating in politics in a state which hardly encourages women in politics," Yadav went on to explain significance of Delhi’s win and party's plans for expansion.

Yadav, who slipped into the local accent once in a while, exhorted them to 'work' for the party by enrolling maximum number of people during the AAP's ongoing membership drive.

"Elections come every five year, but one doesn't get a chance to change (the country) every time," he reminded the gathering.

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At the Panipat meeting, JP Sheikhpura, a supporter from Gharounda, alleged that Haryana faces double the corruption compared with Delhi.

“AAP has good chances. Along with corruption, people here are fed up of dynasties in this state.”

But there are few who are sceptical about the kind of people who want to join AAP.

“A son demands a job in Haryana Provincial Civil Services so that he can indulge in corruption and his father is asking for election ticket. AAP leaders have kept mum on this issue.”


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