Former BJP MLA Kanu Kalsariya, who spearheaded the agitation against Nirma’s cement plant in his constituency, on Wednesday joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the presence of its national executive member Dinesh Vaghela.
Dr. Kalsariya, who had contested from Gariadhar seat in the 2012 Assembly elections under the banner of ‘Sadbhavana Manch’ and lost, joined AAP amid party workers and supporters at the District Collectorate here.
When asked if he would contest against Mr. Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Dr. Kalsariya said a decision regarding whether he would contest the elections and against whom would be decided by the party and he would go by that.
Amid his supporters wielding brooms and chants of “Aam Aadmi Zindabad,” Dr. Kalsariya, a gynaecologist by profession, candidly admitted that he was about to join the Congress party just before joining AAP.
“I wanted to join the Congress party as there was no other option. I would have made a mistake had I done so. AAP is a symbol of people’s power. And, they showed it in Delhi,” he said.
“Gujarat has never got a third alternative apart from BJP and Congress. AAP, as a third political alternative, will turn a new chapter in Indian politics in 2014,” he said.
AAP claims to have registered 20,000 members offline and 50,000 members online across the state following the party’s spectacular showing in the Assembly elections in Delhi, where the party won 28 of the 70 seats.
Retired IAS officer A.R. Bharadwaj, who was the director of Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute, also joined the Aam Aadmi Party.
When asked why he had joined AAP, Mr. Bharadwaj said, “Throughout my professional career, I felt suffocated. If I did good work, I would be harassed. But, AAP is a people’s party. It gives an opportunity to do good for people.”