The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) set up as many as 31 committees to look into various aspects of policy making and provide inputs in the process of drafting its national manifesto. These range from agriculture to foreign direct investment. The committees in turn sought inputs from as many stakeholders as possible, from industry bodies to NGOs.
While the final draft of the manifesto is still in the making, all the committees have submitted their reports to the party leadership. Arun Kumar, who headed the economy and ecology committees told Business Today that the focus of the economic manifesto was on ways to tackle unemployment, poverty, and the fiscal situation. Fund allocation and monitoring would be decentralized to ensure proper utilization of funds. Tackling the black money economy is also likely to feature prominently in the national agenda.
The party is expected to articulate its stand on key issues in the coming weeks. "Some reports we are happy with, and some require tweaking," said Yogendra Yadav, AAP leader and head of the party's manifesto committee.
Thousands from across the country are lining up to join the AAP and hundreds of thousands are showing their support by donating to its coffers. A party that has often called itself 'poor' managed to raise Rs 50 lakh on the first day of the new year. For the first 72 hours after December 8, the day the results of the Delhi assembly poll - in which AAP made a stunning debut - were declared, the party raised nearly a lakh of rupees every hour.
As for its national electoral plans, Yadav categorically stated that states such as West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. which have cadre based parties, would be difficult to penetrate.
AAP's 'Main Bhi Aam Aadmi Campaign' will begin on January 10, a drive aimed at increasing the party's membership. It will also help the party gauge the mood on the ground. "Reports from Uttar Pradesh, and surprisingly, Gujarat, have been very good. Something is happening in Haryana. I addressed 23 meetings in Haryana yesterday," said Yadav. "The response has been overwhelming."