A day after MNS chief Raj Thackeray said the Aam Aadmi Party will not have an impact in Maharashtra and his party was its “baap” (father), the AAP has claimed workers from various parties, including the MNS, were making a beeline to join their party.
“After NCP and Congress, it is the MNS workers who are flocking to us for membership,” party leader Mayank Gandhi told The Indian Express.
Such is the feeling of disenchantment within the NCP ranks that, at places, almost the entire NCP strength — except its leaders — is willing to join AAP, Gandhi said.
Other parties that workers are ditching include BSP, SP and BJP — in that order — Gandhi said, adding that Shiv Sena is the least affected. “Perhaps because Sena is a cadre-based party and if Marathi manoos is the agenda, people think it can serve that purpose. But they could be wondering why stay with MNS,” Gandhi explained.
“There are some people in the BJP that believe in value-based politics. They are coming to us,” he added.
Gandhi also said that “from the BSP and SP, we are getting a huge chunk of Muslims, who are particularly upset after the Muzaffarnagar riots”.
As for other states, Gandhi said, “Workers of JD(U) in Karnataka and DMK in Tamil Nadu are also coming to us in significant chunks.”
“But across the board at the national level, it is Congress workers who are willing to join us in a big way,” he said.
Asked how AAP is coping with the rush, Gandhi said, “We are telling them not to expect anything in return. They will have to work for the party as ordinary workers for at least six months.”