AAP looking to tap students to expand volunteer base

In order to increase its volunteer base ahead of Delhi Assembly elections, the AAP's students' wing has launched an initiative to enrol students to work for the party in the national capital.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 23, 2014, 23:01 PM IST

New Delhi: In order to increase its volunteer base ahead of Delhi Assembly elections, the AAP's students' wing has launched an initiative to enrol students to work for the party in the national capital.

It has already started a campaign 'Vacation for the Nation' under which it has begun enrolling students from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Milia Islamia, Indraprastha University and Delhi University and its affiliated colleges.

"We are targeting students from all universities in Delhi.

"Further, we are also looking for students who are appearing for UPSC exams in Mukherjee Nagar, Ber Sarai and Jia Sarai areas, where such students mostly reside.

"A group is also targeting students in the Laxmi Nagar area who are appearing for their CA exams," said Sarita Devi, president of the Chhatra Yuva Sangharsha Samiti (CYSS), the students' wing of the party.

So far, some 4,500 students have enrolled as part of the campaign, said AAP, adding that, among these, 1,500 are from DU, 450 from JNU, 250 from Jamia and 150 from IP university. Also, there are 300 UPSC candidates and 150 CA students who have also signed up.

CYSS said it has also received 1,210 online entries.

"Students can work for the party after their exams get over by mid-December.

"They can work with the party in their winter break and even continue to do so until the Delhi elections, which could be held in February next year," said Gaurav Singh, secretary and campaign in-charge.

"The volunteers will compare the election manifestos of all major political parties contesting the Delhi elections and tell the people which party has given preference to the demands of students and the youth," he said.

The Vacation for Nation volunteers will form a mobile campaign unit with ready reckoners on issues concerning the students and youth and how these can be brought to the forefront for the Assembly elections, said a party spokesperson.

Sarita Devi added that this volunteer force could also help the party in its social media campaign. Door-to-door visits and people-to-people contact is a crucial part of AAP's strategy and volunteers are a major link between the party and people, she said.

AAP's volunteer base shrunk significantly after its rout in the Lok Sabha elections and with the desertion of some of its leaders.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led party intends to fill that gap by adding more volunteers as it faces a battle of survival in the upcoming elections in Delhi.

Students have played a crucial role in AAP's rise and constitute a significant number of the party's volunteers. In the last Assembly polls in Delhi and in the general elections, a number of students had enrolled as volunteers with the party.