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'Outside' supporters pitch in for Aam Admi Party

Monday, 2 December 2013 - 3:46pm IST Updated: Monday, 2 December 2013 - 3:41pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

A 77-year-old NRI from London and a doctor duo from Gujarat's city of Bhuj are among the many "outside" supporters who are camping here in Delhi with an aim to ensure that Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party emerges victorious in the assembly polls on Wednesday.

A lanky, bespectacled septuagenarian wearing an AAP cap and a T-shirt bearing an image of a 'smiling mango', can be seen these days walking in markets, metros and other public places asking people to vote for Aam Aadmi Party in this "David vs Goliath" battle.

His look and British accent may conceal his Indian roots but Jai Nath Misra from the UK says, "I may have left India but India never left me", and "this election is the beginning of a corruption-free India".

"I work with the AAP UK wing and tell people there about the 'common man's party' that is taking on political giants like Congress and BJP," Misra said.

Misra, who hails from Bulandshahr in UP but left India in 1960s, said a number of NRIs have also descended here to express solidarity with Kejriwal.

"We are about 60 NRIs who have travelled from different parts of the world. There is a doctor from Chicago in the US who has been here for months, among others. And, I possibly am the only one who is above 70. Rest are all very young," he said.

And, while he says he may have "lost his Indian accent" long ago, he speaks and communicates with people in Hindi with not much difficulty, punctuating even his conversation in English with words like "bhrashtachar" and "jhadoo" and "aam aadmi" and "janta".

Camping in a small hotel in Karol Bagh, Misra says he roams around Delhi helped by AAP volunteers and reaches out to people online through his Facebook page called "Jai's Vichar Dhara".

But supporters for AAP are not just overseas NRIs, a doctor duo from Bhuj in Gujarat has also travelled the distance "just to see AAP defeat corruption for change". Pediatrician Nehal Vaidya, 42, and surgeon Ulhas Navlekar, 72, are staying here in the national capital campaigning for the Aam Aadmi Party and asking people in buses and metros to "vote for AAP candidates".

"I am asking people to vote for him (Kejriwal) and his party, because he just isn't raising issues but is also offering solutions to them," Vaidya said.

The two doctors, staying in Delhi at Swami Narayan Mandir till the end of the election, and Misra are hopeful of AAP surprising the established parties.
Misra says the "inspiration" for his endeavour "came when I saw Anna Hazare's anti-corruption crusade in India streamed live on my laptop and I knew I had to pack my bags." He further tells the story behind his "mango t-shirt" he wears during campaigning.

"The T-shirt you see here bearing the image of mango was designed purposefully in London. Someone had called India a "Banana Republic with mango people" and we turned the joke on its head given the 'Aam' reference in the party's name," he said.

Misra said that his daughter who has just been to India once is also supporting the anti-corruption movement and "my participation in it".


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