Heeding AAP chief’s call, volunteers arrive in Delhi

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Saurav Chakra left his Mumbai job to join the campaign

From a software engineer to an MBA student, AAP volunteers from across the country are trickling into the capital to help give their party an edge in the May 12 polls.

Around 500 volunteers are working with the party in various capacities, and many more are figuring out plans to come to Delhi after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted Thursday: “Except those in Haryana and Punjab, workers from across the country should come to Delhi… We need to defeat the BJP in all seven seats in the city.”

मैं सभी कार्यकर्ताओं से निवेदन करता हूँ कि चुनाव तक सब लोग छुट्टी ले लें। हरियाणा और पंजाब छोड़कर देश भर के सभी कार्यकर्ता भी दिल्ली आ जायें। दिल्ली के लोगों के साथ मिलकर दिल्ली की सातों सीटों पर भाजपा को हराना है।

— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 25, 2019

Vikas Shukla (30), a software engineer in Bengaluru, has been on leave since April 1 to help AAP’s Chandni Chowk candidate Pankaj Gupta in his campaign. His work here involves developing ward-based strategy, data compilation and taking updates on ground work done by workers.

“I take a break from work for one month every time there’s elections. It’s been five to six years I have been working for this party… It has a presence in Bengaluru, but in Delhi it’s completely different because we have done a lot of work here in the last four years, especially in education,” he said.

Saurav Chakra (27) from Mumbai, who left his software job in January, has been campaigning door-to-door for the party. Originally from Jharkhand, Shukla said he joined AAP during it’s campaign against corruption.

“I used to discuss with friends about the Delhi government. They would say that I can’t assume AAP has done good work without seeing it for myself. Now that I have visited mohalla clinics and government schools, I am confident they’re on the right track,” he said.

In East Delhi, Amit Badwaik (23), also from Mumbai, has been lending support to social media and administrative work. He is an MBA student at the University of Mumbai, but has taken a break for the elections. “The party does does not have the same structure in Mumbai. The way we are campaigning here on social media, it is far exceeding the work of BJP. We are all volunteering to do this work, that’s why our campaigning is better than theirs,” he said.

AAPs spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “We have many outstation volunteers… Some help with social media, some in roadshows and door-to-door campaigns.”

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