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Mooshahary on AAP recce

- Ex-governor visits party office in Assam

Guwahati, Jan. 2: Former Meghalaya governor Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary sprang a surprise by visiting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) office here today, triggering speculation that he may join the fledgling party.

Today’s development came in the wake of Mooshahary’s announcement last month that he would join politics and contest the Lok Sabha polls.

Mooshahary, however, today told The Telegraph that he hadn’t made up his mind on which party to join.

“I visited the AAP office to know about their organisational structure and style of functioning. I also interacted with the party workers. But I am yet to take a final decision on joining the party,” the former governor said, adding that he would take an appropriate decision in due course of time.

The AAP was, however, optimistic about Mooshahary joining them.

“We are hopeful that he will formally join our party. Today he enquired about our functioning and also had a discussion with our volunteers on various issues,” said Gurapreet Singh Uppal, a member of the state committee of the AAP.

Mooshahary spent about 45 minutes at the AAP state office on SK Bhuyan Road near Dighalipukhuri.

“He also shared his experiences with our volunteers and appreciated our style of working and the dedication of our volunteers,” Uppal said.

Habung Payeng, an AAP national executive member looking after the Northeast, in his response to today’s development, told this correspondent, “We will let you know as and when anyone joins the party formally.”

Congress and AGP insiders said they were not worried about AAP. But the former admitted to speculation about Mooshahary joining the nascent party having a “temporary” impact as he would be the first known name to join the party. AGP insiders, on the other hand, said Assam “needed a broom to sweep out” both the BJP and Congress from the state. They went on to add that they were not using the term broom (AAP’s election symbol) as an endorsement of the new party and that the AGP would fight the ensuing polls on its own.

The former Meghalaya governor, who also served as the director-general of National Security Guards (NSG) and the BSF, hails from Kokrajhar district in Assam. Moos-hahary’s IPS career spanned 39 years, from 1967 to 2006. He took over as Meghalaya governor in July 2008 and demitted office in July last year.

Mooshahary had told reporters at Kokrajhar last month that he was joining politics and would be contesting the next parliamentary elections and has zeroed in on three constituencies — Kokrajhar, Guwahati and Mangaldoi — to contest from.

After its stupendous performance in the Delhi Assembly elections, the popularity of the AAP is on the rise in the state as the state unit claims that it had received at least 400 membership requests from across the state and 50 others had already joined the party last month.

The state unit of the party has also announced its plans to field candidates in Assam in the Lok Sabha elections but the party is undecided on how many seats it will contest. There are 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

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