Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
Delhi: With an eye on crucial General Elections in 2014, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday launched a massive all-India recruitment drive for which the party has decided to waive off its Rs 10 membership fee.
Speaking to reporters during the launch of his party`s free membership drive, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “The Aam Aadmi Party has launched a free membership drive today. We intend to make nearly 1 crore members till January 26.”
Kejriwal told reporters that any Indian citizen can become a member of the AAP but only those who are given important responsibilities and positions in the party will undergo an intense scrutiny.
“You can text your details or give a missed call on 07798220033 to become a member of AAP,” Kejriwal said.
Kejriwal also confirmed that few more well known personalities, including journalist Ashutosh, are joining the party soon.
“Yes Ashutosh is joining AAP in a couple days most probably,”Kejriwal said.
The Chief Minister, however, once again refused to accept any security by saying there is no threat to his life.
“I am safe, there is no threat,” Kejriwal said when quizzed over the Z Plus security being offered to him by the UP Police.
The membership campaign named as `Mein Bhi Aam Aadmi` will continue till January 26. AAP leader Gopal Rai will lead the membership campaign.
A decision to this effect was taken during the two-day long national executive meet in the capital, during which the party leaders suggested that AAP should contest Lok Sabha and polls and appeared confident that the pary would do well.
After the national executive meet, the party announced that it will contest the next Lok Sabha polls on 300 seats and field its candidates from all major states.
Importantly, the party also said that it will field candidates from all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.
After Delhi, Haryana will likely be the party`s next battle ground. Party spokesperson Yogendra Yadav had announced that other than all 10 Lok Sabha seats, the party would also contest all 90 seats in the assembly elections to be held later this year, even if they were to clash with the national elections.
In view of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the party said that its election manifesto will be ready by March. The party also asserted that there will be no let-up in its campaign against corruption but sought time to set up a system to tackle it.
The debutant political party would contest the "maximum number of Lok Sabha seats, but the number of seats has not been finalised yet", senior party leader Yogendra Yadav told reporters.
"We want people not just to join the AAP, but also do something for the country," he said.
An AAP spokesperson said, "After the Delhi elections, we have seen an upsurge. We are launching a donation drive and a campaign as we want to tap this new upsurge to fight the VIP culture and corruption".
Yogendra Yadav said the Rs.10 fee earlier charged for primary membership had become a "bottleneck", and it was decided to "suspend" the fee.
"A three-member National Campaign Coordination Committee will look into the party`s manifesto, fund-raising and other poll-related issues. People can apply for candidature for the Lok Sabha polls till Jan 15, and the applications will then be screened at the state level," he said.
"The first list of candidates should be out by Jan 15-20," he said.
Announcing its national ambitions, the AAP had recently announced it will contest the "maximum number of seats" in the April-May Lok Sabha polls and most of its candidates were expected to be declared by February-end.
However, the party`s popular face and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he will not fight the polls despite Yogendra Yadav saying that the party wanted him to be their prime ministerial candidate.