April 18, 2017 5:30:45 am
Along with the Purvanchali diaspora, the Aam Aadmi Party this time is also eyeing the voters from Uttarakhand in the capital ahead of the upcoming municipal polls. With over 12 lakh voters dominating at least 50 municipal wards, the party is trying its best to reach out to the community since late last year. “This particular diaspora in the capital is very united and has a strong sense of community. They have been supportive of AAP all these years and we considered it our responsibility to reach out to them. So far, no political party has identified their issues or extended a helping hand to them,” said a senior party functionary.
“There are over 50 wards where the these voters can swing the elections. According to our estimates, the capital has 12 to 14 lakh voters from the state. Our representation to candidates from Uttarakhand is far more than those in BJP and Congress.” Seats such as Vinod Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Mayur Vihar Phase II and III, Dilshad Garden, Sangam Vihar, Badarpur, RK Puram, Palam, Najafgarh, Geeta Colony, Pandav Nagar, Sant Nagar, Sonia Vihar and Karawal Nagar are some of the wards where the party is particularly eyeing the voters.
Party leaders and volunteers from its Uttarakhand unit are being brought in to campaign. In January, the AAP government organised a three-day Uttarayani festival that kicked off in west Vinod Nagar — a locality dominated by people who hail from Uttarakhand. Popular folk artistes were roped in, and an unprecedented 20 events were lined up for the festival.
For the first time, the Delhi government tried to reach out to the diaspora by officially funding and organising programmes for the festival. Last year in November, the AAP government also announced the formation of a new academy for Garhwali, Kumaoni and Jaunsari languages, making it the first such state-funded academy in the country. So far, political parties in power had focussed on Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu academies.
Around 36 Purvanchali candidates have been fielded in the upcoming MCD polls. The party’s 12 Purvanchali MLAs, of whom two are Cabinet ministers (Gopal Rai and Kapil Mishra) and one heads the state unit (Dilip Pandey), are AAP’s star campaigners, leading intensive campaigns in the Purvanchali dominated wards.
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