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Nov 24, 2012 at 03:46pm IST

Kejriwal names his party after common man, calls it 'Aam Aadmi Party'

New Delhi: Anti-corruption campaigner Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday finally gave a name to his long-awaited party, christening it after the ordinary citizen whose rights he has long been fighting for. The name 'Aam Aadmi Party' was proposed by Mayank Gandhi, and adopted at the meet held in the capital on Saturday. The group also adopted the constitution of the party.

Elaborating, AAP National Executive member Yogendra Yadav said, "The party will have a national coordinator who will be elected... A Political Affairs Committee at the national level that is kind of a politburo. The National Executive has 30 seats... Today 23 members were chosen. National Council will be the broadest body. The party will have a Secretary and a Treasurer, but no president or general secretary."

Yadav added that apart from Kejriwal and himself, the following were some of the other National Executive members: Prashant Bhushan, Mayank Gandhi, Gopal Rai, Kumar Viswas, Anand Kumar, Manish Sisodia, Subhas Bare and Ajit Jha.

He said that Shanti Bhushan was not a member of any body since his son Prashant was a member in the Executive. "Two members from a family cannot be in the party," he explained. "The same structure will be replicated at district and state levels," Yadav added.

On Friday, speaking to CNN-IBN, Kejriwal had said that the party will have no high command but will be run by the common man. "Through your channel, I would like to invite everyone as it is people's party, it is aam aadmi's party," Kejriwal had said.

Yadav added that the party will shun dynastic politics and will have provisions against it. It will also have an internal Lokpal, he said.

The party will be formally launched on Monday at Jantar Mantar, Kejriwal said. He tweeted saying that all those who would be present at the iconic protest venue in the capital on Monday would be known as the founding members of the party. In another tweet, he invited all to become the founding members of his party.

As the activists gathered for the meet, Kejriwal said, "Today the common men, women, children are forming their party. Around 300-350 people are coming together today to form the party. They are not netas. They are fed up of netas. They are the people who are fed up of corruption and price rise.

"This is why the common man has decided to challenge them. Now the common man will sit in Parliament. The National Executive will be formed. It will decide the name of the party. To run the party, there will be a National Working Committee. Party's vision is swaraj. People should get the 'raj'.

"That vision will be finalised. Around 25-30 issues will be discussed... which all issues need to be taken first by the party. Committees will be formed. They will make drafts in four-five months. There will discussions through the country. The consensus formed then will be the stand of the party."

"Nowadays what happens is that four people in a room decide a party's ideology. We won't do that. Our party's ideology is Swaraj. Women and youth will be given important role in the party," Kejriwal told the members.

'Aam aadmi synonymous with Congress'

The Congress, not to be outdone, said that the term 'aam aadmi' has been synonymous with the Indian National Congress since 1885. Information and Broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said, "Aam aadmi is synonymous with the Congress Party since 1885. Nobody can hijack the intrinsic relationship between the Congress and the aam aadmi."

Anna assures support

Responding to a query on Aam Aadmi Party, Kejriwal's mentor Anna Hazare said that he would most certainly support the party's candidates if they were good. "We shall inquire into the background of the candidates and then support them if they are really good."

The anti-corruption crusader was quick to add that he and his team will not campaign for AAP but will support the right candidates.

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