While Arvind Kejriwal will launch a new political party and a party manifesto on November 26, Aruna Roy, his former mentor from whom he parted ways, will launch a new political platform along with several other activists on the same day with the aim of setting the agenda for the next general elections.
The platform, which is yet to be named, is a new alliance of civil society movements, led by Aruna Roy, Medha Patkar and many top activists from all parts of the country and from across movements and thus representing issues other than corruption, on which Kejriwal has focussed so far.
The grouping will launch itself with a Jan Sansad or a people's parliament from November 26 which will go on for five days and would send out messages to the Government and political parties on people's demands on issues like food security, livelihood, environment, labour rights, freedom of speech and other democratic rights.
When asked if it would take the shape of a political party, Aruna Roy said that it was a political formation but it was not for votes. She said politics was there whenever there was a debate on inequity. And referring indirectly to the political storm that is being stirred by Arvind Kejriwal she said: "There is a history of politics and movements and people who lead movements today should remember that we are only part of a large continuum."
She added: "What we are doing is politics but without desire to grab state power. Our first concern would be to get all the pending Bills in Parliament passed and implemented, with appropriate changes."
The suppression of democratic rights would be another issue on which the Jan Sansad would have people giving their views and seeking a stop on the use of force by State to suppress dissent.
Kavitha Kuruganti who heads a formation called Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture and deals with issues concerning agriculture and environment said that the platform was a means to send a message to all parties in the Parliament session and also for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
"People's concerns are not being heard and this Jan Sansad is a way to bring their voices to the fore," she said. While Asha has 400 members, the other groupings that are part of this new platform have member organisations running into several hundreds.
One of the biggest grouping is National Alliance of People's Movements which is even bigger than Asha. Asked if the platform of Jan Sansad would be given a name, Roy said that it was possible in the near future as it would keep raising these issues before the Government till the elections.
It is a countdown to the Lok Sabha elections, as Kuruganti put it.
Some of the organisations which are part of the platform of Jan Sansad are Anhad, Aman Biradari, ASHA, Association for Democratic Reform, Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, Coalition for GM Free India, Greenpeace India, Ekta Parishad, Right to Food Campaign and NAPM.