New Delhi, 1 May-2014, Himanshi Dhawan(TNN): In the last 10 days of its Varanasi campaign, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) plans to give a final push by mobilizing star power with leaders like Gul Panag, Medha Patkar and V Balakrishnan reaching the holy city in the next few days. It also plans to hold a boat rally and announce a Varanasi manifesto for the city.
The Varanasi manifesto will be announced on Thursday and seeks to draw attention to the problems of “river-sewer-weaver” that has been the party’s mantra so far.
The Varanasi manifesto will be announced on Thursday and seeks to draw attention to the problems of “river-sewer-weaver” that has been the party’s mantra so far. “The manifesto has been drawn by local inputs that people have gathered through nukkad sabhas and one-on-one meetings,” a source said. The manifesto will raise the demand for Varanasi to be recognized as a heritage city and its infrastructure needs including power, roads and quality of education.
“The city has five universities and yet education is completely out of reach of the common man,” the source said. The party has been campaigning actively to address the concerns for the youth and the economically and socially backward communities. There are special measures for ease of trade for weavers that make up a significant predominantly Muslim community in the city.
An innovative strategy that the party is working is a boat rally. “The river is the life of the city. We thought this was the best way to connect with the people,” an AAP leader said. While details are still to be worked out the rally will touch on either the famous Assi Ghat or the Dashashwamedh ghat on May 2.
The party is also likely to step up its campaign with leaders and candidates traveling to Varanasi and Amethi as they finish their electoral commitments. Among those who are likely to campaign are AAP candidates including actor Gul Panag, Medha Patkar, Yogendra Yadav and former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan.
Senior leaders like Sanjay Singh, Gopal Rai and Manish Sisodia have been in Varanasi for more than a month now. The party has also pressed its Dalit leaders including ministers Rakhi Birla and Girish Soni along with MLAs like Vishesh Ravi and Ashok Chauhan in to service for active campaigning among the backward communities. Significantly it was these four who addressed the press conference demanding action against Baba Ramdev for his insensitive remarks on Dalits.