The Election Commission has set the ball rolling for the registration process of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by noted RTI activist and anti-corruption fighter Arvin Kejriwal, by asking the party to issue newspaper advertisements in Hindi and English, as per Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, calling for objections, if any, for grating registration.

The advertisement was carried couple of days ago, sources said adding that the Commission will now wait for the mandatory period of 30 days, from the date of publication, to see whether there is any objection. After that, the next process of inviting an AAP representative for a personal hearing with one of the Deputy Election Commissioners would be carried out.

During the hearing, which is mostly likely only in late January or February, 2013, the AAP representative would be grilled with questions like motive for starting the party, the party’s programmes, policies and principles, its constitution, office-bearers details and funds for running the party.

If satisfied with the answer, the Commission might consider allowing the AAP’s registration. If that is through, when the party fights any Assembly/Lok Sabha elections, the Commission might consider giving it a common symbol from the list of free symbols as a one-time poll specific gesture.

Only if the party fulfils the conditions of the EC for getting recognition (by securing a certain percentage of votes/elected representatives), the Commission might consider allowing the AAP to design its own election symbol or allow it to adopt any of the free symbol, sources added.

In its application to the EC, the AAP had mentioned that its vision was to create “a system where the political leaders we elect and place in the Parliament are directly responsible to the voters who elected them. To realize a dream of Swaraj that Gandhiji had envisaged for a free India — where the power of governance and rights of democracy will be in the hands of the people of India.”

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