The Telegraph
Friday , April 11 , 2014
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Party scouts for aam booth managers

Luckless can replace Chandra as the middle name of Kumar Mardi, the AAP candidate from Jamshedpur.

The 61-year-old nominee first had to bank on sympathisers to run poll errands and now Mardi is running short of booth managers for voting day.

The situation is so sorry that the party’s state unit has requested residents to join as booth agents.

Jamshedpur goes to polls on April 17.

The primary job of a booth agent is to man the party desk and maintain strict vigil on voters. There are 1,626 polling booths in Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituency and ensuring effective booth management without adequate manpower can be a Herculean task.

Those willing to volunteer will have to submit two passport size photographs and a photocopy of their voter ID at the AAP office in Khasmahal. The last date for submitting the same is April 14.

The critical question here is will AAP pay these residents doubling up as its agents?

“No. Unlike BJP and JVM, our coffers are empty. It is our humble request to the people to help us,” said AAP poll co-ordinator Prem Kumar.

Mardi, however, is confident that people will come forward to help him. “I am fighting to wipe out corruption. I believe people will help me,” said Mardi over phone from Baharagora where he was campaigning on Thursday.

Speaking to The Telegraph, AAP poll co-ordinator Kumar conceded that the party was yet to gain a toehold in Jharkhand. “We are knocking on every door to garner support for our candidate in Jamshedpur. Mardiji is touring rural pockets alone. Going to the hinterland with an entire bandwagon costs a lot of money,” he added.

Asked about AAP members in Jamshedpur, Kumar said that the party did have a base in the city, but apparently the loyalists were reluctant to offer help. “I don’t know the reason. However, this has compelled us to appeal to the public,” he added.

Shortcomings notwithstanding, tribal candidate Mardi is doing his bit. He holds meetings with party workers to get feedback from urban areas.

A resident of Karandih, Mardi had fought the 1984 Assembly elections as an Independent from Potka.

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