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Aam Aadmi Party opens 300 offices, aims to be a national player

Thursday, 2 January 2014 - 8:37pm IST | Place: New Delhi/Ghaziabad | Agency: IANS

With over 500,000 new members and 300 offices coming up in all corners of the country in just around three weeks' time, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had a dream debut in the Delhi polls, has its eyes firmly set on the coming general elections.

According to party's political affairs committee member Sanjay Singh, 322 offices have opened up all over the country, including in places like Sikkim, Assam, Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

"The party has seen tremendous growth in its popularity since the Dec 8 Delhi results. Before election results, we had around five lakh members but now the figure stands at 10 lakh (one million)," Singh told IANS adding that 200,000 people have joined online.

AAP formed the government in Delhi after winning 28 seats in its debut elections for Delhi's 70-member assembly. It was promised outside support by the Congress, which won eight seats in Delhi.

At 60, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of party offices followed by Madhya Pradesh (35), Rajasthan (27), Tamil Nadu (25), Kerala (14) and Gujarat (10), said Singh who, along with colleague Pankaj Gupta, is part of a sub-committee under the party's parliamentary affairs committee to look after AAP's Lok Sabha poll preparations.

The duo will also help party volunteers across the country in preparing for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

"Volunteers are working overtime to spread the party's message in all these places," he said.

Agreed 37-year-old Poonam Parveen, who sits at the help desk at the party's headquarter in Kaushambi township of Ghaziabad, adjacent to Delhi, where Kejriwal resides, told IANS: "Every day we receive hundreds of calls and e-mails from all over the country. People are so eager to join."

Parveen, who was a full-time housewife before joining the party six months back, informed that to become a member, one has to fill a membership form priced at Rs10.

"Most of the people are either college students or activists. Hundreds are joining everyday," said Parveen, who claims that she attends a minimum of 150 phone calls daily from across India.

Jayashree, a member from the Goa office where over 1,000 volunteers have been enrolled in the last few days, told IANS over phone: "After the oath ceremony of Kejriwal-ji as chief minister of Delhi, people are thronging our office to join the party."

"The contact numbers, with the party members' names, have been displayed outside the party offices in the districts," said another volunteer.


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