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AAP sweeps in for toehold

Shillong, Jan. 23: After sweeping Sheila Dikshit and company from power in the recent Delhi Assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is trying to create a political base in this hill state.

Habung Payeng, AAP national executive committee member in charge of Northeast, was here today to give shape to a preparatory committee before the setting up of a state committee.

Hitherto, the only known “aam aadmi” face from this part of the globe who has joined the Arvind Kejriwal bandwagon is Agnes Kharshiing, the president of the Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO). However, Kharshiing said she would remain with the organisation while working for AAP.

The preparatory committee will also undertake the task of forming district committees, conducting awareness campaigns and enrolling members into the nascent party.

Speaking to reporters, Payeng said the AAP in Meghalaya would pursue issues relating to land alienation, environment, public distribution system, and power projects. “Land (belonging to tribals) has been misused for mining activities and the villagers are exploited. Corruption too is an issue. We are sinking in to corruption,” he said.

Inspired by the mercurial victory in the Delhi Assembly polls and with Kejriwal leading the government there, the AAP leader said the party would look to contest in most of the seats in the Northeast in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.

For Meghalaya, which has two parliamentary seats, he said the party would set up the candidates if the AAP manages to get persons with a “clean image” who can mobilise support. Payeng also said that if required, AAP would draft regional and statewise manifestos for the parliamentary polls to suit the local conditions.

The Northeast, with eight states, has only 25 Lok Sabha constituencies.

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