In the run up to the ‘open dialogue’ or ‘swaraj samvad’ — organised by AAP leaders backing ousted party leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan — a faction of the leaders is launching a publicity campaign on social media while others are expected to hold a slew of meetings in the capital and in other parts of the country to garner support.
According to sources close to Bhushan and Yadav, the ousted leaders will meet supporters and volunteers in Chandigarh and Lucknow during the course of this week.
“Preparatory meetings by party volunteers are underway. Yadav will be visiting Chandigarh on Tuesday and he will be in Lucknow on April 9. Apart from this, preparatory meetings are being held in Delhi and its adjoining areas,” a source said.
The ‘swaraj samvad’ will be held near IFFCO Chowk in Gurgaon on April 14 — a day which is also observed as Ambedkar Jayanti.
Meanwhile, the faction has launched a publicity campaign on Twitter and Facebook, stating that the ‘swaraj samvad’ is “a dialogue on the new politics that formed the AAP and on the change we wish to see in Indian politics”.
The invite for the event further states that the meeting would be a discourse among AAP volunteers to “introspect and plan action after the recent course of events that has left the fundamental ideology of party badly bruised”.
On allegations of indulging in anti-party activities, Yadav and Bhushan — along with senior AAP leaders Ajit Jha and Anand Kumar — were removed from the party’s National Executive during a stormy session of the AAP’s National Council held on March 28.
Elaborating on the preparations for the meeting, the source said, “As of now, volunteers from 27 states have registered themselves for the samwad. Ninety-five NRI volunteers have also registered till 2 pm on Monday. The overwhelming response has made us rethink our arrangements.”
Claiming that the faction had received nearly 2,500 responses from volunteers across the country, the source said Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Maharashtra were among the top states from where they have received “an overwhelming response”.
Among the AAP leaders who are organising the event are AAP MLA Pankaj Pushkar, Christina Samy who recently resigned from the AAP’s NE, AAP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bastar Soni Sori, suspended NE members Rakesh Sinha and Vishal Sharma Lathe as well as suspended Punjab State Committee member Manjeet Singh.