Noted Indian dancer Mallika Sarabhai and senior television editor Ashutosh are among the latest to join India's Aam Aadmi (common man) Party or AAP, which caused a sensation after winning the recent Delhi state Assembly elections.
Sarabhai and Ashutosh are the latest entrants from a stream of well-placed executives, professionals, activists and intellectuals who are lining up to join the party that was born out of anti-corruption movement.
Earlier, a former director of the top notch software company Infosys, V Balakrishnan, head of the Royal Bank of Scotland Meera Sanyal and Captain Gopinath, founder of India’s first low-cost airline Air Deccan joined the AAP.
Senior AAP member and party ideologue, Yogendra Yadav, said he had approached high-profile activist Medha Patkar who, he said, expressed interest in joining the party. She has however, yet to confirm this.
Mallika Sarabhai on Thursday formally joined the AAP along with her supporters, at Vasna town in western Gujarat state.
Sarabhai is a key opponent of Gujarat chief minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
She has publicly criticised the Modi government over the 2002 riots in the state and contested against senior party leader LK Advani in the 2009 national elections to the Lower House (Lok Sabha) of parliament.
"I have been fighting against corruption for years. Even in the last Lok Sabha elections in 2009, I contested as an independent candidate because my values did not match with any of the parties," agencies reported, quoting her.
"I have been fighting against social exploitation for many years. AAP's values are similar to the ones I have. I did not have any talks with the AAP leadership and have joined as a foot soldier," she reportedly said.
Network 18, the parent company of Hindi language television broadcaster IBN7, confirmed the exit of Ashutosh as managing editor. He is formally expected to make known his joining the AAP, reports said.
When he does, he would be joining other former journalists in the AAP including Manish Sisodia, now a minister in the Delhi government and Shazia Ilmi, a party spokesperson.
The AAP, which was formed on an anti-corruption plank, beat all predictions to emerge as the second largest party in the recent Delhi state assembly elections, and eventually went on to form the government when the largest party, the BJP, expressed inability to do so.
Source: Al Jazeera