People throng the Aam Aadmi Party stall during a membership drive at Morabadi grounds in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Where: A small party office on Kutchery Road in Ranchi
Day and Time: Friday, from 2.10pm to 2.40pm
Scene: Eight visit the office personally, while 17 call up to enquire about membership formalities
The query: How do I join Aam Aadmi Party?
Citizens across the state, re-energised by the idea that their power now counts in politics like never before in a year with back-to-back Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls, are increasingly joining Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Right now, the one-year-old party has 40,000 members in Jharkhand.
The scene on Friday at the AAP headquarters in Ranchi was testimony enough.
It was abuzz with AAP workers attending to phone calls and answering people’s queries. Every caller or visitor had two main questions — how to become an AAP member and where the nearest party office was from their city or district.
Though AAP had a presence, but the membership enrolment increased after AAP’s dazzling debut in Delhi Assembly elections and government formation.
Sunil Mahto, one of three members of Jharkhand AAP Executive Committee, corroborated it. “Since the formation of AAP government in Delhi, our membership base in Jharkhand is rising. Figures suggest the party had inducted around 15,000 members after it took charge of the Delhi government. In December 2013, the membership stood at 25,000. Now, in January 2014, it is touching the 40,000 mark.”
Rakesh Kumar Dubey, a 30-year-old mechanical engineer with Abhijeet Group, and Daltonganj resident, was on Friday convinced about AAP’s vision for the country after spending some five minutes in the Ranchi party office.
“It is for the first time I am joining any political party. I am convinced by its promise of giving a corruption-free India,” said Dubey, who also happens to the son of a sub-inspector of Jharkhand Police.
Another resident from Daltonganj, Amit Kumar Pandey, who lost his job opportunity in the army for delay on part of the block office in issuing his character certificate, did not hesitate a bit before signing on the membership form.
Pandey said he wanted to be part of the team that has the courage to take on political parties in the ongoing anti-graft drive. “I was very impressed by Arvind Kejriwal’s speech. I hope he translates his words into action,” he added.
For a businesswoman like Sunita Agrawal, who knows “how corrupt the system is”, joining AAP was “natural”. “I am joining party to contribute something,” said the distributor of a well-known ice-cream brand in Ranchi,
Anjana Adukia, who has a furniture shop at Pee Pee Compound, had similar reasons for joining the party.
“I had waiting for a long time for an appropriate platform to do something for the society. AAP handed it to me,” she added.