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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

AAP to hold rally at Jantar Mantar today

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 03, 2014
First Published: 00:03 IST(3/8/2014) | Last Updated: 08:12 IST(3/8/2014)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will on Sunday return to its protest hotspot of Jantar Mantar to mobilise its volunteers and build public opinion for fresh elections in Delhi.

Attacking the BJP-led Centre for “running away from elections and denying Delhi good governance” will figure on top of their agenda, but the response to the rally would be a test for AAP’s support base, especially in the wake of the numerous ‘mohalla sabhas’ it has been holding in the name of public participation for local development.

Kejriwal will be the main speaker at the rally that is being viewed by many as AAAP's first real show of strength after the Lok Sabha poll drubbing.

As per a party release, it will raise two questions: why BJP is running away from Delhi assembly elections and why the people of Delhi are being denied the right to elect a government of their choice.

The rally for whose success the party has been distributing pamphlets, putting up billboards and driving social media campaigns will start at 3 pm to demand the dissolution of Delhi assembly and fresh elections.

The rally will also mark a culmination of AAP’s rebuilding efforts started after it drew a blank in the Capital in the Parliamentary elections two and a half months ago.

“Now, we want to take the process to a different level, making a statement that we are poll ready. Jantar Mantar will only be part of a bigger build up before we decide on hitting the campaign trail. You will see more such rallies at Ramlila, Burari and other places,” said a party spokesperson. 

The rally comes only two days before the Supreme Court will start hearing AAP’s petition that seeks fresh elections in Delhi. AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has met President Pranab Mukherjee and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to press for fresh elections. Plea not heard, he is back to basics - taking to streets, something he had shunned after public criticism for his Rail Bhawan dharna last winter. 

“We want to keep our volunteers motivated. Every Saturday, Kejriwal has been doing Google Hangout sessions with them, away from the media glare. Jantar Mantar will allow a direct interaction for a bigger impact,” said a party leader. 

Recent elections have shown that in Delhi AAP is in direct contest with BJP. “We will highlight the failures of the Modi government in keeping inflation under check,” he said.

“We will highlight how the BJP promised to lower power tariff by 30% but when they had a chance to do so during last month’s Delhi budget, they ditched the people,” he said.

Despite a spectacular debut winning 28 of the 70 seats in the Delhi assembly, AAP pulled the plug on its own government in February to fight the LS polls. The city has been without an elected government for five months and the assembly is under suspended animation. Under President’s rule, Delhi’s L-G Najeeb Jung is the administrative head.

Life would come a full circle for AAP which was born out of protests at Jantar Mantar.

August 3 was the date two years ago when Team Anna broke its fast at Jantar Mantar and decided towards floating a political party. “On the same date, we would resolve to end the deadlock in the capital and ensure resumption of a political process,” said a party volunteer.


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