The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today shelved its plan of taking volunteers to Varanasi, ahead of its leader Arvind Kejriwal's rally scheduled next week, following criticism that it was apeing other political parties.
A large number of party volunteers were keen to go to Varanasi where Kejriwal was expected to announce his decision of contesting against BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
The party had asked its volunteers interested in attending the rally to pay Rs 1100, for which it will take care of travel, food and accomodation. It had even opened a dedicated counter at the Hanuman Road office.
However, the plan was today spiked off after such a move attracted criticism. This has been contrary to its stand of taking volunteers to rallies. In fact, it was frequently criticising other parties for doing so.
"The plan for Varanasi has been called off after criticism that we are taking volunteers there," said party worker who indentified himself as D D Sharma and was at the help desk.
The volunteers may have to go to Varanasi all by themselves, but since a large number of activists are heading to the temple city, many are learnt to be pooling their services.
A volunteer from Delhi, who has been stationed in Varanasi to look after the arrangement, said, "We have been working for accomodation, food for our volunteers who will come from Delhi as we are expecting many of them to be here next week,"
However, the party distanced itself from the programme and denied any such programme was being undertaken despite opening a help desk in the party office.
"We have not arranged for any programme of taking volunteers to Varanasi. They themselves must have undertaken the programme as many of the volunteers are interested in going there," party spokesperson Dilip Pandey said.