“More than 3,500 people in Madurai district have enrolled themselves in the party so far”

Seventy-one-year-old P. Krishnan, a stone quarry worker from Pandiyankottai near Karuppayurani here, enrolled himself as a member of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday and the reason given by him: “I am fed up with corruption.”

The septuagenarian said he had earlier been a member of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam followed by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

But he was not happy with the activities of both the parties and was waiting for an opportunity to join a party with a vision to eradicate corruption.

“AAP’s impressive performance in the Delhi Assembly elections has given me the hope that this is the right political party for me,” he said outside the Collectorate sporting his enrolment receipt number 548171 given on payment of Rs.10 towards membership fee.

The party’s District Convener, S. Sukumar, said more than 3,500 people in the district had enrolled themselves in the party so far. Even rural folks had been evincing keen interest in joining the party, he claimed. “We have been campaigning for voluntary enrolment at Tirumangalam, Usilampatti and other blocks. We enrolled around 150 members from just the two villages of Paapinaickanpatti and Sankaralingapuram near Sedapatti recently,” he said.

Mr. Sukumar, a native of Madurai, said that he was living in Mumbai for about 15 years and became a part of India Against Corruption (IAC) movement headed by Anna Hazare in 2011. Later, he joined Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP and returned to his native place.

Asked how he was able to garner support for a party with a Hindi name in the heartland of Tamils, he said: “I do encounter such questions by some people. But I explain to them that the registered name of a national party cannot be changed as per regional aspirations. However, only a few raise the issue. Even Bharatiya Janata Party is basically a Hindi name.”

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