Chipko and Uttarakhand Andolan activists join the AAP

It was a game changer for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Uttarakhand on Friday, when activists of the Chipko Andolan and the Uttarakhand Andolan and many prominent people joined hands with it.

AAP spokesperson Anand Kumar said: “We have been able to win the confidence of mass leaders and social activists. With all these prominent people on our side, a new chapter begins for the AAP, which will be a game changer [in the Lok Sabha elections in the State].”

At a press conference here earlier this year, the party’s executive members announced that the AAP would contest all five Lok Sabha seats in the State.

Professor Kumar said the mass leaders would be requested to contest the polls from their respective regions. Within two weeks, the party would declare the names of the candidates.

Shamsher Singh Bisht, an active member of the Chipko Andolan and the Uttarakhand Andolan, said: “The AAP has come to the State as an element of alternative politics. We are people who have been a part of public movements like the Chipko Andolan. We believe that the AAP will grow like a public movement, and so it has our support.”

At present, many projects were being built without the consent of gram sabhas, in violation of their powers to protect the rights of the people to forestland.

Rajiv Lochan Sah, a member of the Chipko Andolan and the Uttarakhand Andolan, said: “We have been fighting to make the government realise that it must respect the powers of gram sabhas and local bodies under the 73rd and 74th Amendments. Through the AAP, we will be able to bring this issue into the limelight.”

Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya, the country’s first woman Director-General of Police, also joined the AAP.