Behind the leaders and candidates of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lies the overwhelming support of thousands of followers. Considering that AAP is a political party, this is nothing extraordinary. What is surprising, however, is the profile of these supporters and volunteers.
Thousands of students in the city and across the country are sacrificing their weekends and leisure time to do volunteer work for the party. And the biggest support for the party seems to be from IIT Delhi. Close to 500 IIT-D students have been lending their support to the party in the form of technical inputs, social media campaigning and door-to-door campaigning.
According to the students, the main thing that draws them towards the party is their “refreshing attitude” towards governance. “The party ideology is very different from that of any other party. We are telling everyone that if we win, the electors will be the ones to decide what the MLA’s funds will be spent on. No party has done this before and we are submitting affidavits so that electors can hold us accountable,” said Arun Kumar Verma, who started volunteering for AAP in 2012.
The scene in Delhi University colleges is a little different. Here students attend lectures and hang out with their friends, all the while wearing caps and badges to support AAP.
“The support for Arvind Kejriwal and AAP in colleges is huge. Students are talking about him and most are ready to go out and vote especially because of him this time,” said Dhruv Khurana, a final year student at Sri Venkateswara College.
Ishaan Sethi, a student at the same college, is among those who are trying to campaign by wearing the badge and cap.
“AAP is the most democratic, transparent and accountable party and deserves to form the government; this is why I am supporting them,” Sethi said.
At IIT Delhi, students are also pitching in with suggestions on policy matters. “We at IIT work on a lot of projects associated with the city and planning. We are trying to help AAP make effective policies on these issues,” said Prince Kumar, who is a volunteer coordinator at IIT Delhi.