Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which opened its State committee office here on Saturday, coinciding with the launch of its nation-wide membership drive, has ambitious plans to bolster its membership base here too.

The mood at the opening of the new office on M.G. Road was unsurprisingly upbeat, coming as it does close on the heels of the party’s historic win and formation of the government in Delhi recently. In keeping with the spirit of the party, the office was inaugurated by five ‘aam aadmi’ (common people) who turned up for the inauguration.

The inaugural ceremony was followed by a six-hour-long State committee meeting, which among other topics, discussed the issues following the influx of people to the party in the wake of Delhi results and the groundwork needed to be done for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Though the membership campaign officially started on Saturday, it’s likely to get started on Sunday as the application forms were being delivered to the party’s district committees, K.P. Ratheesh, spokesperson for the party in the State, told The Hindu. The party has active committees in all districts except Idukki and Kasargod. The party hoped to widen its 36,000-strong membership base in the State by 3-3.5 lakh by the end of the drive on January 26. The drive is for enlisting ordinary members, as the category of active members involves an elaborate screening process. “Anyone who has attained the age of 18 years, has no criminal antecedents and is not a member of any other party can become ordinary members.

To be eligible for active membership, the applicant must put in at least four months of work, apply in a different form and must be recommended by two existing active members,” Mr. Ratheesh said.

Mr. Ratheesh said that there is a perceptible change in the outlook towards the party ever since the outcome of the Delhi Assembly elections. The party conventions at the grassroots levels, which earlier attracted far fewer people, now attract 300-400 persons even without giving much publicity.

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