New Delhi: The British-era double storey house is abuzz with people pouring in and out and talking amongst themselves.
In the small veranda with a few tables and chairs, volunteers assist visitors, taking down their names and numbers and handing them Nehru caps with anti-corruption slogans written on them. There are stacks of posters and banners all over the place.
A stone’s throw away from Connaught Place in the heart of the national capital, the office of the Aam Aadmi Party in New Delhi constituency (to be represented by its CM candidate Arvind Kejriwal) is a place where anyone can walk in and feel at-home.
Among the several persons present in the crowded porch, a young boy talking loudly into a cell phone draws immediate attention.
“Sir aap is baar AAP ko hi vote dena. Congress ne toh 15 saal se Dilli ko loota hai. Aur BJP ne 12 saal se kya kiya hai MCD mein? (Sir please vote for the AAP this time. Congress has looted Delhi during the past 15 years of its rule and what has BJP done by staying in power in MCD for the past 12 years?” 13-year-old Sooraj yells into the phone.
When asked why he is promoting the party so enthusiastically at an age when he cannot even vote, his prompt reply was that he hasn’t seen a leader go among people and fast for their cause.
“I live in a shanty nearby with my family. While the posh locality has been beautified with gardens and roads, there is an unsightly underbelly where poor people like us live. I wrote to Sheila Dikshit once asking why she was not doing anything for people like us, but there was no reply. Kejriwalji is not like that,” said the class VII student of a government school.
Sooraj’s father Bijay Baba, a rickshaw puller, is also an ardent supporter of the AAP.
“I have been pulling the rickshaw and spreading awareness about the party. Kejriwalji is the only leader who can rid us of corruption. There is corruption everywhere, even when I go to a government hospital for treatment. Only AAP can change that,” he says.
Inside the house which has been rented to Kejriwal by a well-wisher for a token rent of rs 1 a month, a swarm of volunteers carries out various chores.
The volunteers come from many walks of life — there are students, professionals earning handsome salaries, businessmen, housewives, villagers, people from small towns, rickshawpullers, lawyers and even NRIs.