Narmada activist Medha Patkar, JNU prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy join AAP
The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and its allied groups on Monday announced their support for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Maharashtra, activist Medha Patkar said. Apart from NBA, former Communist Party of India (CPI) leader and Professor of International Studies in JNU Kamal Mitra Chenoy also joined AAP.
In a boost to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), social activist Medha Patkar today extended her "complete" support to the fledging party while left intellectual Kamal Mitra Chenoy joined it.
"We extend our complete support to Aam Aadmi Party. AAP has included fighting corruption in its agenda, while we have been fighting corruption through Adarsh (housing society scam) and Lavasa," Patkar told reporters in Mumbai.
"We have studied their (AAP's) documents and we have found that micro to macro-economic view point is more or less reflected into it. We will further continue with the dialogue and would like to contribute our views in not just the manifesto but also in the working culture and their working documents," the 59-year-old social activist said.
Patkar, known for her work in the Narmada Bachao Andolan, a movement that is fighting against the construction of large dams on Narmada river in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, also said that she would further announce the future course of action about the role she will play in AAP, after holding discussions with senior AAP leaders on January 16 and 17.
Attributing the work done by the movements led by Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal on the Jan Lokpal Bill, she said, "The anti-corruption movement has really shown a way."
Slamming political parties for indulging in corruption, she said, "We do not consider electoral politics as untouchable."
"We see this party as part of our agenda. With dialogue and deliberations we have decided to support the AAP actively. Active support will be based on both ideological commonality and clarity," Patkar said.
In Delhi, senior leader Prashant Bhushan announced that Chenoy, a professor in School of International Studies in JNU, was joining the party and said this was a unique case as Chenoy was associated with CPI for 40 years before joining AAP.
"I have worked with Medha Patkar, worked on human rights issues in Manipur and also worked with Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Politics has been made a game of money. We will fight for the common man," Chenoy said adding many other professors from the JNU may join the party.
Bhushan announced that supporters and activists of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) would also join the party.
"NBA is one of the oldest and biggest movements in the country and many people from the Narmada Valley have joined the party. People from similar such movements will join the party," he said.
Alok Agarwal, an activist of the NBA, said he had asked the party for a ticket and was willing to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Khandwa.
NBA supporters and activists have joined and extended their support to the party, he said. "I will contest Lok Sabha elections from Khandwa if AAP gives me ticket. For the past 20 years, we have fought for the the rights of people who have been affected. We protested over this and we saw that both Congress and BJP have been very brutal (in handling the situation and solving the problem).
"AAP has shown that the common man can defeat Congress and BJP. Lakhs of people from the Narmada Valley will vote for AAP this time," Agarwal said at a press conference held by AAP leader Prashant Bhushan.
Meanwhile, the party has welcomed support from Patkar. AAP leader Mayank Gandhi said one needs to go inside (electoral politics) to carry forward the agitation and people's struggle. "It is a big day for us. The revolution will become bigger," said another AAP leader Anjali Damania.