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Aam Aadmi Party goes shopping for brooms

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 16, 2013
First Published: 00:35 IST(16/11/2013) | Last Updated: 01:25 IST(16/11/2013)

The Aam Aadmi party is on a shopping spree ahead of the December 4 assembly elections. The item of purchase: Their election symbol, the humble broom. The workers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) actually carry it along wherever they go.

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AAP has spent quite a bit on procuring brooms for its workers. The party’s central office in Connaught Place has so far purchased 1,200 brooms from Paharganj.

“When we acquired the symbol on August 3, we procured about 200 brooms. Last month, we got 20 more,” said one AAP worker.  “Our symbol sets us apart from
Congress (hand) and BJP (lotus) also because they cannot carry the actual objects shown as their symbols.”

Brooms are also being bought in each of the 70 constituencies in Delhi, with volunteers and supporters also providing brooms to help the party in its campaign.

Rakhi Birla (26), AAP’s candidate from Mangolpuri, said, “Brooms are made in our area, so we get a discount. People come and join us with their own brooms, but we have still bought 100-150 brooms, for `5-7 each.”

“The election commission gave us a few options [of symbols not yet taken] such as a tree or a hand pump. Since the broom is widely used and appeared to be the best tool that symbolised cleaning up Delhi’s political system, we went for it and luckily got it,” said a senior AAP leader. “We would love to continue with it. But it’s up to the election commission.”

The election commission explained how the broom is just a one-time symbol for the party. “AAP is a registered party, but only national and regional parties get permanent symbols. AAP may or may not get to use the broom in the general elections,” said an election commission official.

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