AAP's maiden Kolkata rally demands strong Lokpal Bill

Kolkata, Dec 15 : The Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) maiden rally here Sunday may not have matched the cacophony and strength of the usual political gathering of a West Bengal capital, but volunteers said they were happy that people across all walks of life joined the chorus to demand end to corruption and for a strong Lokpal.

Called "Chetna Yatra," the two-km walk from College Square to Esplanade witnessed participation of more than 300 people - mostly youngsters, voicing their concern over rising corruption in the country.

People of all ages, including children, sported the customary AAP cap with the words "Main hoon Aam Aadmi" (I am a Common Man) printed on it, and walked the distance carrying the national flag and banners deriding graft.

"More than a political rally, the march was an opportunity for the city to show solidarity to AAP's countrywide fight," AAP volunteer Mukul Keshari said.

Shouting slogans against corruption, participants also demanded a stronger Lokpal Bill.

"AAP is opposed to the current Lokpal Bill under consideration in parliament, and through the walk, we also sought to raise awareness about the stringent bill," Keshari said.

Buoyed by Sunday's march, the AAP is planning a mass meeting of its central leadership in Kolkata early next year.

"Manish Sisodia (party leader) congratulated us for our efforts and we are discussing about holding a 'jan sabha' (mass meeting) in the city early next year," added Keshari.

Incidentally, the AAP rally coincided with the BJP-organised "Run for Unity" - a nationwide programme to rev up support for its "Statue of Unity" project to commemorate Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

--IANS (Posted on 15-12-2013)

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