A Meeting with Shri Ram Niwas Goyal
Shri Ram Niwas Goyal, speaker of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha, was as an MLA from BJP (1993 – 1997) and joined AAP in January 2014. He has been associated with a lot of public service initiatives in the health sector and also used to organize Kanwar camps in Delhi and his camp is the number 1 camp in Delhi in terms of the number of people served. We met him at his house and he was kind enough to spare some time for us! Here are some edited excerpts:
Q1. Sir, what was your motivation behind joining AAP?
A. There have been a lot of political movements over the course of history and they have had different motives, different visions etc. But AAP enticed me with its single-minded focus on removing corruption from governance and giving maximum benefits to the common man. Moreover, Arvind Kejriwal’s mission of serving the most deprived in the society appealed to me personally.
Q2. Sir, what can you say about the leadership style of Arvind Kejriwal? How is it different from others?
A. One difference is that Arvind Ji does not appeal to voters on the basis of their identity. In other words, he prefers discrimination-free politics. Our candidates are selected on the basis of merit and public service experience only. Secondly, he believes in empowering subordinates and has complete trust in their capabilities. For example, Manish Sisodia has lot of administrative powers delegated to him by AK. Then, Arvind Ji does not hide from his mistakes. He’s willing to accept failures. He admitted that contesting Lok Sabha was a mistake because we did not have the organizational support structure then!
Q3. Sir, how do you envision AAP’s future? What will it mean to people some years from now!?
A. See at present, our workers working at National Level. And as it always has, Social Media will play an important role in expansion – even senior leaders like Manish Sisodiya, AK connected with people through social media.Our next step is contesting Punjab elections in 2017 successfully. Our leaders are confident of a win at the moment.
Q4. Sir, what are the typical challenges that AAP confronts both in the short and long term?!
A. Right now, a big challenge for us is searching for clean candidates, carrying out proper enquiry and background check of contestants and candidates, finding new leaders who have mass appeal. Then, the people of Delhi have put in a lot of faith in us. We have to deliver what we promised!
Q5. What about finding more Women willing to lead? Is there a way to have greater women representation in the leadership?
A. We have a good number of Women workers as volunteers but yes, there is scope for more women participation. At present, 6 out of 67 women MLAs from AAP are women. We are working to bring more women forward and fighting the stereotypes!
Q6. How has AAP organized itself? What is the Organization Structure?
A. As far as the election is concerned, there is a well defined hierarchy. At the top in a constituency is the Candidate followed by a Vidhan Sabha Coordinator and then Ward Coordinator called as Mahila Coordinator, Business Coordinator, Youth coordinator etc. Then there are Booth Incharges and several workers and volunteers. Overall, it is a team of about 200 people. I’d also mention that right now the party has more sympathizers but less of workers who are willing to work full time for the party. Constituencies were divided into weak and strong on the basis of whether the leaders had a wide appeal or an established support base or not. Weak constitutencies were given more support from the top leaders in terms of more visits, more jan-sabhas etc.
7. Sir, thank you for your valuable time! We appreciate your patience!
A. Thank you very much and wish you all the best!
– Held by Aakash K. Gupta
(You can follow Shri Ram Niwas Goel’s facebook page)