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Kejriwal takes the metro to reach out

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 10, 2013
First Published: 00:19 IST(10/9/2013) | Last Updated: 12:10 IST(18/9/2013)

It was 8.30am at the crowded Kaushambi metro station when a bunch of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) activists reached the platform towards Dwarka.

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As everyone waited for the next train, out came a few smart phones of fellow commuters as party leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Kumar Vishwas were seen among the party workers. The AAP posse was heading for their office in central Delhi.

 As many looked on, Kejriwal was flooded with requests to pose for photos. “Hundred votes for each photo,” he quipped and began handing out his business cards to them. “We don’t have money, so we are asking each commuter to take responsibility for 100 votes,” Kejriwal told HT.

AAP is contesting all 70 seats in the Delhi assembly elections.

When the train arrived, the entire lot boarded the rear coach. Once inside, without wasting time, Kejriwal, Sisodia and Vishwas fanned out in the crowd of commuters and started approaching people. “Please vote for AAP this election. Please cast your vote for an honest party,” activist-turned-politician Kejriwal said.

Immediately, Charu Kant, a banker with State Bank of Hyderabad, asked him: “Why should we trust AAP? We have had such bad experience with other parties?”

Vishwas chipped in: “When we are in power, there would be Anna Hazare’s Lokayukta within one month. If that does not happen, you can seek our resignation.”

Shaking hands, posing for photos and distributing cards, the AAP team moved from the last coach towards the train front.

Chartered Accountant Nitin Maheshwari, a resident of Ghaziabad who works in Delhi, said, “I find the party connected to the ground level. The feedback I get from my Delhi friends is positive but I guess, it would take them more than one election to make a mark.”  

Apart from Kejriwal, Sisodia, Vishwas and scores of party volunteers too travel by Delhi Metro daily and on their way try to convince commuters to vote for their party.

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