New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Saturday launched a nationwide anti-corruption drive and will hold a string of rallies under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal who quit as Delhi chief minister, party leaders said.
The AAP went into an overdrive Saturday, a day after Kejriwal, 45, put in his papers following a tumultuous day in the assembly where attempts to introduce Jan Lokpal bill aimed to curb corruption in high places was “defeated”.
Intending to clean up “a corrupt system”, the AAP kicked off its ‘Jhadu Chalao Yatra’ across 24 states Saturday, a party statement said. The Jhaadu (broom) is the election symbol under which the over an year old party fought the Delhi assembly election, bagging 28 seats. It went on to form the government that lasted 49 days.
The week-long ‘yatra’ (journey) will be organised at over 2,500 places in 332 constituencies across 24 states.
Intending to connect with the public, the journey is essentially a “clean-up drive against corrupt politicians, criminals and rioters in the Parliament”, the statement said.
As part of the campaign, party members and supporters will form groups in their respective areas and organise the drive by flashing brooms and distributing pamphlets.
“The yatra will conclude after the groups converge and clean up a public place like a school or a hospital,” said party leader Gopal Rai.
“During the journey, forms will be filled to bring new workers under the party-fold,” he added
The party also said that they will start a nation wide anti-corruption rally, led by Kejriwal, from Haryana’s Rohtak district – the home district of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress – Feb 23. Assembly elections in Haryana are scheduled for later this year.
AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said: “The second rally will be held March 2 in Kanpur…”
Addressing a press conference here, Yadav justified Kejriwal’s resignation, saying the AAP has set a precedent as a government that is willing to quit.
“AAP was formed to contest election on several principles, one of the foremost being the Jan Lokpal bill,” he said.
“As we were not allowed (to introduce the bill) and it became clear that in this assembly, it was impossible for AAP to even introduce the bill on Jan Lokpal, the party complimented Arvind Kejriwal for taking a clear decision of resigning,” he added.
Rai also announced the start of the nation wide stir which he called the ‘Jhaadu chalao beiman harao yatra’ from Saturday.
The party will hold 2,500 anti-corruption rallies in 24 states in next seven days to expose the alliance of Congress and BJP. The rallies will also ask more and more people to join AAP, Rai said.
“The party members will go to different states, cities, district and villages and will try to add large number of people to the party. From today, 25 rallies are being held in different cities and these rallies will go to Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh etc,” said Rai.
The rallies will conclude at Rohtak.
Party leader Ashutosh meanwhile said the party will discuss possible candidates for the Lok Sabha in the political affairs meeting on Sunday.