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Voices for Kejriwal in alma mater

Kharagpur, Dec. 10: Arvind Kejriwal has found support in his alma mater, IIT Kharagpur. A section of students wants to join his Aam Aadmi Party, “inspired” by its success in the Delhi polls.

The students feel that the AAP has “won its struggle for a corruption-free government”.

The party drubbed the Congress in Delhi, winning 28 seats in the first election it contested. Kejriwal, who passed out of the mechanical engineering department of IIT Kharagpur in 1989, defeated former chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

Sporting an AAP cap with “Aam Aadmi Party Zindabad” written on it, final-year computer science and engineering student Ritesh Singh, 22, said he had secured a job in Delhi through campus interview as he wanted to work for the party.

“I hail from Mumbai but I have taken up a posting in Delhi because I want to join the AAP and work for it. I will need the job because the party does not offer any allowance to its members,” Ritesh, 22, said.

Ritesh said he had called up Kejriwal after he won the elections, whose results were announced on Sunday, and invited him to the alumni meet of IIT Kharagpur.

“The alumni meet will be held in January. The organisers of the Spring Fest (in the same month) also want him to attend the event. He told me that he was willing to attend any programme at IIT Kharagpur to motivate the students,” Ritesh said.

When Anna Hazare had organised a fast in Delhi as part of his movement against corruption, Ritesh had gone on a hunger strike in Kharagpur town to express solidarity with the movement.

“Now is the time for honest youths to join politics. The few months I will be at the IIT, I want to encourage students to join the movement against corruption so that they can become soldiers of the AAP in the future,” Ritesh said.

Second-year mining engineering student Atal Asutosh Agarwal also wants to join the AAP.

“Immediately after my third semester ended on November 26, I left for Delhi to campaign for the AAP. I campaigned for Somnath Bharti, who contested the Malviya Nagar seat. I did not get a reservation and had to travel in a general compartment. I knew my goal. I had to ensure that Somnath Bharti won. Such people should be part of politics to ensure a corruption-free society,” said Atal, a resident of Delhi.

Digvijay Patil, a second-year agriculture and food engineering student, said he could not go to Delhi to take part in the campaign.

“I had registered myself on the AAP website as a campaigner. From my hostel room, I used to make random calls to Delhi residents to campaign for AAP candidates,” said Patil, a resident of Maharashtra’s Jalgaon.