ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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An Account of Medha Patkar’s Election Campaign

Electing a Representative

A first-hand account of the Aam Aadmi Party's candidate for Mumbai north-east constituency for the Lok Sabha illustrates how she came to be identified as one of their own by the poor and marginalised. It gives a glimpse of the new politics that is giving a voice to the powerless.

If one person has shown what people’s politics means, it is Medha Patkar. Her campaign in Mumbai, where she stood as an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate, was a people’s campaign in every sense of the word. It was a two-way relationship – those who campaigned for her in the hope that she would become their Member of Parliament (MP), identified with her as passionately as she identified with those she sought to represent – specially the poorest of them.

It was not as if the cynicism that marks elections had entirely been replaced by hope. You saw it in women’s eyes especially, when Patkar walked through the narrow lanes of the slums and chawls of her sprawling constituency, asking for votes (funnily enough, never for herself). The difference lay in the lack of cynicism among the hundreds who not only joined her campaign, but themselves organised it – without having being paid to do so.

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