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Army of volunteers to manage LS election for AAP

Danish Raza, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 22, 2014
First Published: 21:24 IST(22/2/2014) | Last Updated: 08:44 IST(23/2/2014)

Days after Arvind Kejriwal quit his post of Delhi chief minister, the AAP is out with a blueprint for volunteers' training for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The party plans to train around 1,000 volunteers in election campaign and management.

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"During the programme, party members who were in charge in case of the Delhi assembly elections will share their experiences, so our mistakes are not repeated in the upcoming poll," said Ajit Jha, AAP national executive member.

The training is expected to be held in Delhi in the last week of February. And two volunteers from each Lok Sabha constituency across 25 states will participate. The training is to be held over a week in batches of 100 – at least seven batches are in queue. These volunteers will then train others back home.

Read: Farmers' plight to top AAP agenda: Kejriwal

Read: Growing dissent in AAP over Lok Sabha tickets

"For those cannot make it to the training session, we will ensure that someone from Delhi goes to them or they are trained online," said Jha. 

The training will give an overview of campaigning skills, such as building awareness among voters by distributing pamphlets and conducting mohalla sabhas and rallies. The AAP experts will also impart training on the model code of conduct, fund raising and social media to selected volunteers.

In keeping with the AAP style, the volunteers were handpicked. Earlier this month, AAP leader Gopal Rai had addressed party loyalists from various states who wanted to work as volunteers. A protoypte training or internal test for selected party members was also conducted.

Read: AAP not ready to contest Lok Sabha polls, public our driving force, says Kejriwal

Read: AAP LS poll campaign set to launch in Haryana today

According to AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey, the party plans to raise an army of 10 lakh active volunteers before the general election.

The AAP has told state units that only volunteers who do not wish to seek party tickets and can contribute at least three months to party work, should participate in the training.

"If the person gets a ticket, he will not be working as a volunteer. Therefore, the training will go in vain," said Jha.

Similar training sessions had been conducted before the Delhi assembly elections, albeit on a smaller sale. The AAP plans to replicate the model at the national level.

Read: AAP dares Modi to contest LS polls against Gandhis

Read: Kejriwal turns to Anna for cutting edge in LS polls

"There were many learning experiences during the Delhi assembly election. In terms of booth management, the last three days of electioneering could have been handled in a much better manner. This will be discussed at the workshop," said a party member. "Again, because it was our first such experience, volunteers were confused regarding the model code of conduct and its legal aspects."

Full Coverage: Kejriwal, a common man in politics

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