Bhopal: With Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh just months away, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has started reaching out to people in the state through ‘poha chaupals’, a programme aimed at holding dialogues over snack.
Poha, a dish prepared with flattened rice flakes, is a popular breakfast or tea-time snack across India.
After the first ‘poha chaupal’ on Friday in Mandsaur, similar programmes will be held in parts of the state and it will culminate next month, a party leader said.
Talking about the initiative, AAP’s Madhya Pradesh unit convenor Alok Agrawal said, “I came up with the idea of holding ‘poha chaupals’. During the party’s Kisan Bachao Yatra last year, which covered 10,000 km, we found eateries serving poha everywhere along the roadside.”
“Both rich as well as the poor relish alike,” he said.
Mr Agrawal said the first ‘poha chaupal’ was held in Mandsaur on April 13.
“It got a good response. Issues affecting the people came up for discussion. We decided to hold the first chaupal in Mandsaur, where seven farmers were killed in police firing on June 6 last year,” he added.
The ‘poha chaupal’ reminds one of the ‘chai pe charcha’ (discussion over tea), a mega outreach programme launched by the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls involving the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.Elaborating on the objective of the programme, he said, “Through the chaupals, we want to connect to the people coming from different walks of life.”
Elections in MP are due by the end of the year and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP has decided to field candidates on all the 230 seats in the state.
“We will make it a point that only upright and unblemished people are given tickets,” he said.
Alleging that farmers are sick of the BJP-led government in the state and want to throw the party out of power, Mr Agrawal expressed confidence that AAP will spring a surprise in the Assembly polls.
He said the “BJP has failed on all fronts and the main opposition Congress is not united”.