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The Political Prodigy Chadha urges youth to consider joining Politics as a viable option

By Deepa Vaidya

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Raghav Chadha
Raghav Chadha, 34, Member of Rajya Sabha

Not even once it felt like Raghav Chadha, 34, the youngest Member of Parliament (MP), Rajya Sabha from Punjab constituency is a novice to Indian politics. A founding member, Spokesperson and National Executive member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and as Advisor to the State Government of Punjab, Chadha dons many hats.

Says the first-generation politician, "There are a lot of responsibilities that at a young age my leader has entrusted me with, for which I am deeply grateful. While at the same time, all this is of course very challenging and I do hope and pray to God that I am able to discharge all my duties and meet all the expectations that my party and my people have from me and to the best of my abilities."

A qualified Chartered Accountant, Chadha was drawn to AAP much before the party was formed. "I too was one of the many millions, passionate activists who joined the movement with a view to bring out strong anti-graft legislation. The way things took a turn that all of us decided to incorporate a political party."

On the one turning point he says, "I think for all of us, the repeated assaults by the then UPA government to challenge us, since we are so determinedly and passionately fighting for the anti-graph legislation, drove us to accept the challenge and then show them the power of the common man. If the common man of the country gets together for a cause, then he is indefeatable."

To take on the mighty UPA was quite a big decision. So, who does he see as his adversaries? Chadha says, "I think politics is not about one single adversary. Politics in this country is unfortunately ridden with corruption, communalism, criminalisation, money and muscle power that have been kind of eating into our politics. Politics as we know, is supposed to be a service to the country and to our countrymen to make India, a stronger, powerful, prosperous and a happy nation. So, that's what we have been fighting for, to change the notion of politics to reshape India's political landscape. And as we always say, "Rajniti karne nahi aaye hai, badalne aaye hai."

The young visionary is also looking to change the notion among people as regards taking up politics. He says, "For a very long time, politics in India has been considered to be a task or a job for the unemployed or the unemployable. I hope that notion changes and more and more young people come to the forefront of national politics. As against political parties like the Congress, the BJP and others that have significant entry barriers, political start-ups like AAP, which are a very young party, a party of the young people meant for the young, they must consider that as a viable option and you know where ordinary people can make a huge difference. We come from average, middle-class households of this country and managed to come to the forefront of politics, simply with our commitment and dedication for India and to make it the number one country in the world."

Talking about the highs and lows in his political journey, says the ex-MLA, "We hit rock bottom when we lost the Punjab 2017 election, and right after that we also lost the Delhi Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections the same year. As for the highs, it was winning the 2020 Delhi elections, followed by the Punjab 2022 and MCD victories in 2020."

"But 2022 has been fantastic, we won a state outside of Delhi, we won Punjab. Then we got a substantial vote share in Gujarat, which essentially makes AAP a national political party. So, we have become a national force to reckon with," he adds.

In the next three years, "I see my party certainly as one of the fastest growing political start-ups of India which has grown at an exponential pace. I don't think any party ever since 1947 has grown at the pace at which we have grown. And I do hope that more states and more lives are changed. I can tell you that people are yearning for change and they want this new brand of politics, this new style of governance to reach their doorstep. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, to Gujarat to Guwahati, everyone is yearning for the Kejriwal model of governance. And I think very soon, you will see AAP move beyond Delhi and Punjab and entering states, which have been yearning for change and, you know, there are 2024 General Elections, perhaps we could be the principal challenger to the mighty BJP," says the youngest Parliamentarian.

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