Eye on polls, AAP rebels open offices in 100 wards

  • Mohit Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 27, 2016 07:58 IST

Swaraj Abhiyan, the splinter group of Aam Aadmi Party ( AAP), on Tuesday launched 100 ‘Swaraj Kendra’ or ward-wise offices across Delhi, fuelling speculation that it may contest the civic polls next year.

Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav (second from left) inaugurates a ‘swaraj kendra’ at Palam on Tuesday.

Senior leaders of the group, however, said the kendras are not “entirely political”.

“Our challenge is to change the image and the manner in which politics is conducted in the country. We want to give the people an alternative. The ‘Swaraj Kendras’ are not an organizational centre rather they are for the public facilitation, grievance redressal and helpling local struggles,” said Yogendra Yadav, senior leader, Swaraj Abhiyan.

The launching of the kendras or volunteer offices comes immediately after the group’s decision to support an independent candidate for the single seat assembly bypoll in Punjab’s Khadoor Sahib. The Aam Aadmi Party, after its unprecedented electoral success in Delhi, is trying to make foray into the agrarian state and is set to contest the assembly polls next year.

HT had earlier reported on September 16 that the Swaraj Abhiyan was constituting teams for all 272 municipal wards. The group was floated by Yadav and Prashant Bhushan — both founding members of AAP — after they were expelled from the party for alleged anti-party activities.

Sources said offices in the remaining wards will also be opened by the end of next month and a decision on forming a party may be taken later.

“Since its inception, hundreds have joined the organization enabling us to form the teams. Further, apart from Delhi we have decided to form similar ward-level teams in other major metropolitan cities also,” said a senior group member.

Yadav said the kendras were an experiment to bring a change in politics. He, too, stopped short of completely ruling out the possibility of contesting municipal elections in the capital.

Apart from AAP MLA from Timarpur, Pankaj Pushkar, the group also hopes to get the support of AAP MPs from Punjab Dharamvir Gandhi and Harinder Singh Khalsa, who were recently thrown out of the party.

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