Since breaking away with Anna Hazare to form a political party, Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters have had to sift through more than 40,000 emails, Facebook posts and letters before they finalised its name. The name has finally been fixed after a meeting between Kejriwal and 300 of his supporters and is it to be called the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The group is also expected to finalise the party's constitution and working.
For Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters the transition from brand ‘IAC’ to ‘AAP’ (Aam Admi Party)’ was not easy given that speculation over the name of the party has been swirling since the group declared its intention of participating in politics. After inviting public feedback on it over various media, the group received over 40,000 emails on firstname.lastname@example.org between 3 August and 30 September, regarding the proposed name of the political party.
While more than 75 per cent respondents said that the party’s name should include the word ‘Swaraj’, some wanted ‘IAC’ and ‘Anna Hazare’ added to the party’s name.
The trend changed after IAC formally announced the creation of the political party on 2 October. A majority of those responded via emails (83 per cent) and social networking sites after 2 October said that the party’s name should have the words ‘aam aadmi’ (common man) – made popular through Arvind Kejriwal’s headgear and his references to the common man during his agitations.
“After much deliberation, we short-listed four names- ‘Parivartan Party’ as we want to bring about total change, ‘Jan Lokpal Party, as we have been fighting for Jan Lokpal Bill, ‘Swaraj Party’ because it conveys the ideology of our movement and ‘Aam Admi Party’ because all our policies and strategies are centered on common man,” Manish Sisodia, a close associate of Kejriwal and founding member of the party, said.
These names were thrown open for discussion in the national council meet today and a consensus was reached on naming the party the ‘Aam Admi Party’.
Though the names ‘India Against Corruption’ and ‘IAC’ were never registered, the anti- graft movement has used IAC brand for all practical purposes since its inception in late 2010. After the split of erstwhile Team Anna in September, the factions led by both Kejriwal and Hazare continued to function under the IAC banner.
Kiran Bedi, who sided with Hazare, has said on more than one occasion that the Hazare group should retain the name ‘IAC’. She repeated the claim on the day when Hazare announced his new 15 member core committee in Delhi. Kejriwal has been willing to leave the name for the new group and tweeted that his group would not use the name IAC after the launch of the political formation.