January 29, 2021 4:40:07 am
The AAP’s national council Thursday approved allowing more than one member from a family to contest polls on a party ticket, but only in the case of people who join the party now. Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia said the change will apply only to those who joined the party now.
The council also ratified the leadership’s decision to contest polls in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Gujarat. AAP members have also been barred to discuss issues related to the party and its leadership outside its forums.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said the changes in the party’s constitution have been brought to help it expand smoothly. “Based on the experience of the last 9 years, we realised some clauses are creating practical difficulties, especially in states where the party is trying to expand. For example, so far, booth-level units were considered primary units. Now district level units will be considered so. MPs, MLAs will automatically be part of the national council and state councils of states they are elected from.
“Party members will have full freedom to discuss issues related to the party, leadership, behaviour of leaders in party forums. But they cannot air viewpoints that can damage AAP outside the internal forums. Also, our party constitution says only one person from a family can contest polls. There has been some amendment to this clause. While this rule will apply to existing members, it won’t to those who join now,” Sisodia said.
Asked if there was any decision on party supremo, Arvind Kejriwal’s continuation as the national convenor, Sisodia said no and added, “He is the national convener.”
Addressing the national council meeting, Kejriwal said the party needs to expand across states to emerge as an alternative force to take on established parties which have “cheated the nation”. In contrast, he said, the AAP has made work the centrepiece of its politics.
“Other parties seek votes in the name of religion. They appeal to Hindus to vote for a Hindu party, Muslims to vote for a Muslim party, to Thakurs and Pandits to vote for a Thakur or a Pandit party. They make people fight among themselves. We fight polls on the plank of work, education, schools,” he said.
He said a “national party” talks about wrongs committed in 12th and 13th Century India instead of offering a vision of how 21st Century India should be: “We are not for AAP, we are for the country; AAP is just a vehicle to change the nation.”
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