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Kejriwal magic pulls in members

As many as 150 persons, 85 of them women, on Monday joined Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Pandra locality, a ringing endorsement of the historic 20 mandate in the Delhi Assembly elections secured by the fledgling party.

District party convener Ajay Choudhary said it was for the first time that such a big number of workers joined the party on a single day.

The crowded AAP office on Radium Road signalled an emerging power centre in Jharkhand where traditionally national players BJP and Congress, regional names JMM, JVM, Ajsu and others and the RJD — derecognised as a national party by the Election Commission in 2010 for poor poll performance — hog the limelight.

“We have 25,000 workers across the state. Of them, 5,000 are from Ranchi. But earlier, people joined the party in ones and twos. This is for the first time people have joined en masse. It can be attributed to the party’s performance in Delhi Assembly polls,” said AAP district convener Choudhary, also an RTI activist.

The 150 new party workers reached the AAP office in the form of a procession that started from Jaipal Singh Stadium.

New member Rajesh Prasad Singh, preparing for competitive exams after graduating from Chatra College, said he had always disliked politics but AAP party chief Arvind Kejriwal changed his mind.

“I think he made me believe in the power of politics to change social ills. I have paid Rs 10 as membership fee and I promise to work honestly for the party committed to a corruption-free India,” he said.

Pintu Kumar, a well-known social worker of Pandra who joined AAP, said: “AAP is a party with a difference. I want a repeat of Delhi in Jharkhand.”

Homemaker Pinky Devi said the AAP election symbol attracted her. “Broom is the symbol of Aam Aadmi Party. It is symbol of cleanliness. As a homemaker I know its importance. Cleanliness is required everywhere, be it at home or in politics,” she said.