In what may be the first defection of a former member of Sheila Dikshit’s core team, former IPS officer Uday Sahay joined the AAP on Tuesday.
Sahay, a 1988 batch IPS officer belonging to the AGMUT cadre, was the director of information and publicity in Delhi government from 2006-2009.
He had worked very closely with the former Delhi chief minister until he was appointed the additional director general (communications) of the Commonwealth Games organising committee.
He set up his own company a year later and claimed to have begun writing a tell-all book — tiltled “Sparrows, Vultures and Wolves: the barbeque of Games”, which reportedly chronicled the tumultous run-up to the controversial Games. He was later persuaded by a service senior to give up the project.
“I have been in police and civil administration and have seen the dirt up close. Especially after joining the organising committee, I realised how oppressive the system was. I wanted to clean up but before the party’s spectacular debut I did not really have the confidence to take the plunge. But I was touched by how people had quit their comfort zones to fight corruption,” Sahay told Newsline.
Incidentally, Sahay’s article published in a Hindi daily was one of the starting points of a Lokayukta case against the Dikshit government which allegedly used public money to advertise for elections.
Part of a series, the article had spoken about the Delhi government’s communication strategy and the political overtones in it. Sheila was indicted by the Lokayukta, based partly on Sahay’s account of how the government publicity blitzkrieg in 2008 had tried to nullify the anti-incumbency.
“I was not indicted in any case. There was some wrong reporting in the matter. I have nothing to hide. At that time I did what my job required me to do. It is like former home secretary R K Singh saying that he did his duty as home secretary even when he did not agree with the Home Minister’s decisions,” Sahay said.
“I have nothing to hide… they have not asked me anything about my tenure and what happened during it. I have had very little interaction with Arvind (Kejriwal). I am willing to share the truth but not impressionistic accounts,” he said.
10 lakh members in five days, AAP creates new phone lines
New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday said in the first five days of their “Main Bhi Aam Aadmi” membership drive, more than 10 lakh people had joined the party. Gopal Rai, AAP leader in charge of the membership drive, said “there is not a single state where people have not joined”. He said states in the Hindi heartland, such as UP, Haryana and Delhi, had seen the highest participation.
On Tuesday, the party also announced two additional phone numbers, 08082807715 and 08082807716, to facilitate people taking membership.
“Since we had only one line so far — 07798220033 — many were complaining that they could not get through. Therefore, we have created two more phone lines. This will make the process simpler. So far, 7.5 lakh people have registered with the AAP, either through missed calls or a message to the given numbers,” Rai, member of the party’s Political Affairs Committee, said.
While the membership drive, which waives the Rs 10 joining fee till January 26, was slated to bring in one crore members, Rai said the numbers will shoot up because of the two new numbers.
“It is true that we need 90 lakh members in 10 days if we are to live up to our promise. However, a big problem was that there was only one phone line. Also, on Sunday, we finished training our volunteers on how to recruit members,” Rai said.