Free Press Journal

Boost for AAP as Medha Patkar declares ‘complete’ support


Mumbai: Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party today got a boost ahead of its debut in the Lok Sabha polls, with eminent activist Medha Patkar extending “complete” support to it and even not ruling out contesting elections herself.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan leader said the decision to lend “complete and vigorous” support to AAP was taken after extensive discussions among the constituents of the National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM), an umbrella organisation of over 200 activists’ groups.

“We have decided to extend complete and vigorous support to the Aam Aadmi Party,” she told a media conference here.

Asked to clarify the kind of support to be extended to AAP, Patkar said, “It would be of voting, of joining AAP membership and contributing in whichever way (we can), propaganda and mobilising the masses in different parts of the country.”

Patkar, who stopped short of announcing joining AAP, said  “A number of organisations (in NAPM of which she is convenor) have come forward except a handful who are allies of NAPM. All say that definite, active support should be given to AAP.”

She said the NAPM constituents would, however, continue with their mass movements even while working for AAP.

Asked if the general elections due in a few months from now could see her making an electoral debut, the 59-year-old activist said, “I am not ruling out anything, but I am not giving you any decision. We do not consider electoral politics untouchable.”

While slamming political parties for indulging in corruption, Patkar lauded AAP for fighting against it.

“AAP has included fighting corruption in its agenda, while we have been fighting corruption in Adarsh (housing society scam) and Lavasa,” she pointed out.

“We have studied their (AAP’s) documents and found that our micro and macro-economic view points are more or less reflected in them. We will further continue with our dialogue and will like to contribute our views in not just the manifesto but also in the working culture and their working documents,” she said.

She acknowledged the role of Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption in the mass awakening against the malady, saying, “The anti-corruption movement has really shown the way.”

Welcoming Patkar’s decision, AAP leader Mayank Gandhi said one needed to get into electoral politics to carry forward the movement and people’s struggles.

“It is a big day for us. The revolution will become bigger,” AAP Maharashtra convenor Anjali Damania said.